Salinas, CA AARP Pointing Out Stress Placed On Family Caregiversby Richard Kuehn on 09/01/12
I was happy to see that the AARP is running a national ad campaign which is aimed at bringing public awareness to the impact stress can have on family caregivers. There are a growing number of family members struggling to hold down a job and take care of their own loved ones while caring for an ailing parent or another family member. "I take care of her, but who takes care of me?" says the voice on one public service announcement. from the non-profit Ad Council, which is distributing the ads for AARP. That's a great service the Ad Council is doing. Many people get wrapped up in the daily stress of life, and caring for an elderly relative can increase this stress dramatically. About 50% of family caregivers become clinically depressed, and this is often due to the fact that they just don't have enough personal time to themselves. One of the services we provide at Family inHome Caregiving is providing respite for family members—basically coming in and taking care of a family member so they can take a breather. Being able to get away can be a great refresher and reduce depression, but unfortunately not enough family caregivers do it. Some believe they can do it all, and it would be an admission of failure to admit they needed a time out. But it's not true. "Most caregivers don't know where to turn for help," AARP Vice President Debra Whitman told USA Today. Her own family has experienced it first hand, taking care of both her grandmother and her mother-in-law. More than 42 million Americans currently perform some form of consistent care for older or impaired adult relatives or friends, and that number is only likely to grow as the nation ages. "At first you're just helping out Mom. Then it can become more than a full-time job," said Whitman. If you're caring for a relative, take time to seek out resources to help you. It will reduce a lot of stress.