With more of us taking care of someone we love we need to know how to survive as a caregiver. | downtown-houston

Posted on March 4, 2013


Sandwich GenerationWith more of us are taking care of someone we love we need to know how to survive as a caregiver.

This is a follow up to my blog, “Giving myself and other boomers a kick in the pants”, where we discussed the worsening health of baby boomers.  Let’s look at the facts; the numbers show that more of us will be in-home caregivers taking care of a parent or a close relative.

A study by UCLA researcher Teresa E. Seeman, PhD, and colleagues, as reported on by WebMD, indicates a new trend among aging Baby Boomers: disability. The findings indicated that one in five 60-somethings need help with basic daily activities – up from 13% just a decade ago. Various disabilities are up 40% to 70% in 60- to 69-year-olds.

“Our results have significant and sobering implications,” Seeman and colleagues say. “To the extent that persons currently aged 60 to 69 years are harbingers of likely disability trends for the massive baby-boomer generation, the health care and assistance needs of disabled older Americans could, in the not so distant future, impose heavy burdens on families and society.”

The article went on to say that, compared with those surveyed in 1988-1994, 60-somethings surveyed in 1999-2004 were:

70% more likely to have difficulty walking from room to room, getting in and out of bed, and/or eating and dressing.

70% more likely to have difficulty doing chores, preparing meals, and/or managing money

50% more likely to have difficulty walking a quarter mile and/or walking up 10 steps without rest

40% more likely to have difficulty stooping, crouching, or kneeling; lifting or carrying 10 pounds; and/or standing from an armless chair.

According to the National Family Caregivers Association, more than 50 million Americans provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year, and that number is growing. Adult children are often first in line to care for their aging parents. Many of those adult children are still raising children of their own, making an entire “Sandwich Generation” of family caregivers. But given these new findings, is the sandwich generation already too stretched?

One of the keys to surviving as an in-home caregiver is knowing that you are not alone and finding those places that can help you.  See our blogs, “10 places to find caregiving help”  and “Caregivers: 12 Helpful Support Resources” for ideas.

Respite care offers family caregivers temporary relief from caring for individuals with various needs.  It is an essential part of a home care support strategy, respite care is offered in an individual’s home or in a variety of out-of-home settings for any length of time depending on the needs of the family. As a vital part of the continuum of services for families, BrightStar respite care helps reduce family stress and help preserve the integrity of a loving family.  Respite care also supports family stability and can help prevent lengthy and costly out-of-home care, see our blog, “Don’t look back – how to stay out of the hospital after being discharged.”

It is important to take care of yourself and the person you are caring for at the same time, if you need help, even if it is just information, call us at 832-730-1255.

Need help paying for care?  Give BrightStar in Houston a call at 832-730-1255  for ideas you may not have thought of and resources to consider.  Get more ideas on caregiving on Caregiver Junction.

If one of the care recipients is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran check out our series on Veterans Benefits for those over 65:

Monetary assistance with in-home care for veterans

VA benefits for veterans over 65: Basic Pension

VA benefits for veterans over the age of 65: Housebound Pension and Aid and Attendance Pension

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