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Caregiver Health, Personal Tips for Self Care and Wellness

Updated on September 14, 2012

Facts About Caregivers

  • 65 million people care for a chronically ill, disabled or ageing relative or friend every year
  • These caregivers spend 20 hours per week providing care for a loved one
  • Family caregivers provide for free services valued at twice the amount spent on homecare and nursing home services combined
  • The typicalfamily caregiveris a woman who is employed outside the home and caring for her 69 year-old mother.
  • There are 1.4 million children caring for adults over 50 years of age, these children range in age from 8 to 18
  • 7 out of 10 caregivers are caring for an ageing parent over age 50
  • 78% of adults living in the community who need long-term care receive help from family caregivers

Self Care for Caregivers, Create "ME TIME"

Ask for Help

You are not alone, over 78% of the care needs of elders is met through family caregivers. Caregiving is stressful and demanding, it is important to have support from other family members, friends or in-home care. Arrange periodic times weekly for breaks of several hours so you can have some "ME TIME."

Contact Local Agencies

Department of Human Services/ Seniors and People with Disabilities

DHS agencies have many resources both direct and referral sources of support. Although the agency primarily supports lower income families, there are a variety of services case managers may be able to connect you with including food stamps, respite care and housing.

Area Administration on Ageing (AoA)

Area Agencies on ageing primarily operate the Meals-on-Wheels program at the local level. However, they are a great resource for a variety of low cost services including private caregivers, nutritional counceling, respite care and community events. Like DHS they serve lower income elders, but act as a great starting point for help.

Adult Day Care

Adult day care is a great option for finding time to unwind and rejuvinate yourself. Adult day care costs range from $30.00 per day to over $100.00 per day depending on your area. Like other types of retirement commnity options adult day care communities offer a variety of services including activities, meals and companship for your family member.

Take a Vacation, Respite Care at a Retirement Community

Many retirement communities specifically Residential Care communities offer short term respite care apartments for higher need elders in support of family caregivers. This option can offer a way for a caregiver to get away for a longer period of time. Retirement communities offer the full service from meals to transportation for elders as well as a safe and secure enviornment.


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      Sue Pratt 5 years ago from New Orleans

      This is such a well-written and researched article. It is so timely also. As a baby-boomer myself, I know that more and more of us will come to a point where we can no longer care for ourselves, requiring "other arrangments."

      My father-in-law lived with us for seven years then spent the last few months of his life in a nursing home. Although we did little "caring," it affected us nontheless, being tied to the house, having to include him in every social event at the home. All these are issues I believe will need to be addressed in even more depth as more boomers age and become unable to care for themselves. Thank you for this article and for the information and insight you provided.