by Julie Lewinski
November is National Family Caregiver Month, a time to recognize the more than 9.5 million and growing family caregivers across the country. Recently, when caregivers were asked what services would help them most, their top responses included financial advice, support groups, and respite. Although caregiving can be rewarding, common challenges can leave care partners feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and/or depressed.
- Difficulty managing time. Caregivers often play multiple roles, often raising their children, and juggling their careers.
- Emotional and physical stress. Caregivers may forego their own needs to accommodate the person they are caring for, sacrificing their life balance and mental well-being.
- Lack of privacy. Everyone needs alone time, but when caring for another person, it can feel like you never have a moment to yourself.
- Financial strain. While informal caregiving by family members saves the American healthcare system money, it often results in financial strain due to lost time from work, cost of security help, and more.
- Depression and isolation. Many caregivers experience periods of isolation and lack of social interaction.
- Being afraid to ask for help. Caregivers often feel guilty because they are unable to “do it all alone.” Just as it takes a village to raise children, so caregivers require support while helping those they love age.
Caregivers need to know they are not alone. Visit www3.erie.gov/seniorservices/guide-services for an extensive list of resources, and come to a free CarePatrol Elderinsights Caregiver Symposium on November 30.
Julie Lewinski, owner and senior care consultant at CarePatrol of Buffalo Niagara, provides a free service to seniors and their families to help them find the right senior care and living options.