Family caregivers take on so much – from cooking and cleaning to managing medications, looking after finances, and managing doctor appointments. Doing it all for someone you love can be beautiful and fulfilling, but it can also cause fatigue and feelings of guilt or worry. “When I can’t be there, are they safe?” “Do they have what they need?” “Are they lonely?”
As America’s population ages and the number of those with severe health issues increases, more family caregivers find themselves in similar situations, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Research shows us that family caregivers need to take proper care of themselves to ensure proper care for aging seniors. At Comfort Keepers®, we’ve developed a practical guide for facing family caregiver challenges. You can download it for free to learn more about compassion fatigue, preparing for care, taking care of yourself as a caregiver, ways to pay for care, and how to prepare for extended time away from your loved one. We hope you find it helpful.
The average number of hours per week a spouse/partner spends caring for their loved one.
SOURCE: Caregiving in the U.S., 2015 Report; AARP
of family caregivers report they want more information and help on caregiving topics especially related to safety at home and dealing with stress.
Age and Emotional Well-Being: The Varied Emotional Experience of Family Caregivers , is a research study conducted by the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Stanford University Psychology Department. The researchers found that family caregivers – older ones especially – run the risk of poor well-being and depression when they take on the job of caring for a severely ill loved one. This may be because their social relationships suffer too, which are important for their well-being. With stay at home orders and physical distancing in place, the feeling of social connection is equally as important for family caregivers as it is for senior loved ones.
Comfort Keepers® collaborated with Stanford and the home care services software company ClearCare to survey 2,000 adults who had hired a Comfort Keepers caregiver to help an ailing relative. The survey found that family caregivers caring for a severely ill loved one often experienced social isolation and negative impacts to their emotional well-being.
The positive association between age and emotional well-being is present for people whose relative has a mild illness, but not for those whose relative has a severe illness.
SOURCE: Age and Emotional Well-Being: The Varied Emotional Experience of Family Caregivers
The study reveals what all too many caregivers put on the backburner – they need to care for themselves too. It’s only when they take care of themselves that they can take good care of their loved one.
In times when seniors’ health is a top priority, feeling informed and supported can help alleviate worry and uncertainty. Sometimes, that means asking for help from other family members. It can also mean turning to home care and home health services, like those available from Comfort Keepers, for a helping hand. Comfort Keepers offers respite care and senior care services that enable family caregivers to receive the assistance they need to take care of their senior loved ones and themselves. Not only that, our caregivers are trained in infectious disease control and senior safety; they’d be happy to teach you what they know and work with you create a plan of care for your loved one.
Comfort Keepers, Stanford Center on Longevity, and ClearCare collaborated to study the effects of family caregiving.
“I had the option to become his daughter again, and not so much his
caregiver – and what a gift that was for me.”
Learn about one family’s experience with family caregiving.
Study was not funded or directed by Comfort Keepers or ClearCare.