Caregiver Support For Those Caring For An Elderly Loved One
It is estimated that about 85% of family caregivers in the U.S. receive no respite care support. Theses caregivers are vulnerable to social isolation, depression and additional stress related health effects.
For the caregivers that continue to work outside the home the lack of respite support often has an impact on their job performance, including arriving late or leaving early, unpaid time off and being forced to take a leave of absence.
Communities members, medical professionals, employers, colleagues, friends and family members all need to be aware of the importance of supporting the family caregiver throughout their caregiving journey.
Here are some examples of respitehelp that we can all do to support family caregivers:
- Organize a meal delivery chain with others in the community.
- Offer to drive the family member and loved one to an appointment to ease some of that planning stress.
- Coordinate volunteers to help with yard or simple home maintenance chores.
- Identify those at risk for caregiver burnout and refer them to other professional support resources.
- Ensure that family caregivers understand the diagnosis, treatment plan and can provide the care that their loved one needs at home.
- Ensure that the family caregiver feels supported by the medical staff and
given the opportunity to express their questions and concerns.
- Recognize the need for employed caregivers to have some flexibility to perform their job responsibilities. Possibly allow them to work at the office or from home during off hours or weekends.
- Provide a private room and sponsor a caregiver support group during lunch break.
- Partner with care service companies that may be of service to your employee and the one they are caring for.
- Start a conversation with a colleague you know is struggling with work and caregiving responsibilities. Often just knowing they have someone to talk to relieves some of their isolation.
- Offer to complete a task for them during a deadline or when a caregiving emergency occurs.
- Simply bring them a lunch, coffee or a gift certificate to a local restaurant for a take home dinner.
Friends and Family: You are key in the mental and physical health of your family caregiver. Make sure you are in regular contact and help in any way that you can. Even if you are living a long distance away, calling or sending a care package can be just what is needed.
Elder-Well® offers caregiver support services with reliable respite care, general health monitoring of their loved one, assistance with access to community resources and long-term care planning. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our program.