US News recently shared the story of caregiver Anne Karoly who successfully overcame her caregiving stress.
One year into caring for her mother, Anne began to suffer weight gain and depression. She made the important decision that to better help her mother, Anne needed to help herself too. With the assistance of an online community (caregiver.com), a therapist, time-management coach, a diet and fitness program, Anne was in the best shape of her life.
Different tools and programs may be available in your area; experts strongly encourage caregivers to take full advantage of services available. Andy Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Caring.com, “in our research, we found that family caregivers experience depression at rates twice the national average”.
Cohen has found the most common direct problems include sleep loss, deteriorating health and physical, emotional, and financial stress. Also caregivers can face indirect problems, neglecting work duties and important relationships with friends and families.
The average caregiver spends 20 hours per week on care, roughly a part time job. This additional part time role has led to over two-thirds of working caregivers needing to cut or shift hours. With 10 percent quoting their jobs and taking an early retirement.
In the last five years, 42 percent of the American workforce cared for an aging relative or friend. In the next five years, this percentage will increase to half of the workforce.
Denise Brown, founder and owner of caregiving.com “The big issue when you are working and caregiving is how do you manage the ongoing caregiving crises. It’s not one and done. It’s one, OK breathe; OK, here’s another one. Now what do we do?"
Brown emphasizes that those who succeeded at caregiving “take advantage of all the help and resources they can find”. Brown notes that new technology can greatly assist you, whether through a meal-planning service, video chats with your remote loved one, or managing their daily routine with online schedule management.
For further information browse Live Oak's full collection of Caregiving Resources