How often do you provide physical and emotional support to your spouse, elderly parent, or relative? How many times have you accompanied them to a doctor appointment, managed their care, and worried about their health and well-being?
If you’re a family caregiver, you know what we’re talking about. Caregiving often drains your energy, and if you’re an adult child who is caring for your elderly parent, your dedication can pull your time and attention away from your job and the rest of your family. You put your loved one first, without thinking much about yourself. It’s work that must be done, and you do it out of love, without compensation or recognition.
According to the National Council on Aging, today in America, more than 53 million family caregivers provide unpaid care. That’s an economic value totaling more than $470 billion.
And studies show 17% of adult children will care for their parents at some point in their lives.
It’s work that must be done, but it can take a toll on your health and wellbeing.
We’re not here to lecture, we just want to offer you a few ideas for making caregiving easier:
- Seek support from other caregivers, so you know you’re not alone.
- Accept help from other family members and friends when offered.
- Exercise to relieve stress.
- Take care of your own health, so you can be strong enough to care for your loved one.
- Reward yourself with things you enjoy.
Here’s another idea:
If you live in Highland Park neighborhood, consider reaching out to our Highland Block Nurse Program for help. We also serve the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood south of St. Clair Ave. and east to Lexington Parkway. We are part of the Living at Home Network.
Highland Black Nurse services are for those age 65 and over and their caregivers. Charges are on a sliding fee schedule and are negotiable. When purchased at market rate, it will typically cost $25-$30 for an hour of chore service, respite care or an escorted ride. We can offer these services at affordable rates thanks to our volunteers, public funders and individual donors who support our work in the community. No one is turned away for the inability to pay. Learn more here.
And when home health care is needed, our team of professional caregivers can provide it.
Finally, as Family Caregiver Month comes to an end, Our Lady of Peace would simply like to acknowledge the dedication of family caregivers. It’s admirable work, and it’s one of the greatest gifts of love you can give to someone you love.