Evansville, Indiana
600 N Weinbach Ave., Suite 610, Evansville, IN 47711
(812) 370-4956
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Caring for the Caregiver

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Evansville, Indiana.

Caring for the Caregiver: How to Support a Family Caregiver 

Family caregiving can be a stressful and demanding job. Caregivers often wear many different hats in caring for their loved ones. They may find themselves taking on roles such as a medical assistant or even therapist at points.

Sometimes life doesn't seem fair. Caregivers epitomize this all too often. Not only do they have the emotional burden of caring for a loved one they also have to contend with a financial burden that is hard to quantify.

Here are five ways to show support to the person who is caring for someone.

#1 Offer to run errands.

A caregiver's responsibilities are endless and can quickly become overwhelming. Offer to run errands, help with chores, or assist with meals and transportation. Even small things like picking up groceries or making a phone call on your loved one's behalf can make all the difference in their day.

#2 Provide Emotional support.

Sometimes caregivers feel guilty about taking time off work or going out with friends while caring for their loved one. And they may worry that they need to do more or be as helpful as they could be. You can make them feel better by listening when they're open about their feelings, asking them how they're doing without judgment, and letting them know they are appreciated. 

#3 Check in on them.

Negotiate times to check in on them and see how they're doing. This might mean stopping by their house during the day or calling them once a week. If you live far away, keep in touch via text or email.

#4 Make Sure they are Managing Their Own Healthcare Needs.

As a caregiver, it's easy to forget about your health. You may feel like you have no time to see your doctor or get a flu shot, so it's up to friends and family members to remind caregivers that they should take care of themselves too. Please encourage them to schedule regular checkups with their doctor and remind them to stay up to date with vaccinations.

You could also encourage them to seek mental health services if necessary, especially if they are caring for someone with Alzheimer's or another type of dementia which can be highly stressful on caregivers and patients. Research shows that caregivers often experience increased stress levels and depression and anxiety symptoms over time due to their role in caring for someone with a chronic illness or disability. Encourage your friend or a family member caring for someone else to talk about their feelings with someone who can help them cope.

#5 Start a Donation Drive.

Caregiving is not just about the physical, mental, and emotional toll on the caregiver. It has some profound financial implications as well.

According to A National Survey, 2021, the average caregiver spends $7,200 a year on out-of-pocket expenses related to caregiving. That's more than double what non-caregivers spend on out-of-pocket healthcare costs

And it's more than just money. There are other financial effects on caregivers too:

1. Caregivers have fewer savings than non-caregivers. According to a National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP report 67 percent of caregivers said they'd used up all their savings caring for their loved ones.

2. Caregivers are more likely to get into debt or lose their homes due to taking time off work to care for their loved ones or paying for medical bills out of pocket. In fact, according to AARP, nearly half (46 percent) of unpaid caregivers who live with their elders had delayed retirement because of elder care responsibilities.

If you care about a caregiver and have the means to do so, donating money or time is one of the best ways to show your support. You can find local organizations that provide caregiving services by searching online or contacting your local government official. Consider donating directly to the caregiver caring for someone close to them.

When choosing an organization or fundraiser to participate in as a donor, remember that all caregivers need a break from their responsibilities, including those not related by blood or marriage. Donate what you can afford and be confident in helping someone else cope with the challenges of being a caregiver.

Comfort Keepers of Evansville, IN can Help

At Comfort Keepers of Evansville, we have provided support to many family caregivers through our in-home care services. We offer compassionate senior care and respite. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can assist, (812) 370-4956.