If you are a family or professional caregiver or planning to find or become one for a loved one, The Caregiver Foundation would love to help you on your caregiving journey. Don’t know where to start? Let us give you a rundown of care needs and caregiving…
Who are Caregivers?
Caregivers come in all shapes and sizes: friends helping aging or disabled friends, spouses providing care for routine activities, adult children helping their parents or siblings, and professionals administering care to clients and patients. Caregiving is the task of providing for the physical and emotional needs of an individual who can no longer perform daily tasks independently.
More than 44 million Americans age 18 and over provide unpaid assistance and support to older people and adults with disabilities in their community, as estimated by the Family Caregiver Alliance. The important thing to remember is that, as a caregiver, you are not alone.
(Read more about Teen Caregivers)
What do Caregivers do?
Caregivers help individuals handle the day-to-day tasks associated with normal living. This can include meal preparation, bathing, dressing/grooming, transportation, and mobility. As conditions persist and worsen, caregiving can quickly become a full-time task, also known as long-term care.
Caregiving can include:
- Making phone calls to check in on a loved one
- Driving a family member, friend, or neighbor to a doctor’s appointment
- Making meals for someone
- Helping with household chores (e.g. cleaning, grocery shopping)
- Assisting with personal business affairs (e.g. bill-paying)
- Providing hands-on care (e.g. bathing, eating assistance)
- Helping someone to make decisions about health care
Caregivers provide a wide range of services to help the elderly and disabled maintain a more comfortable existence.
When does Caregiving Start?
For most people, caregiving begins unexpectedly. A drastic change in an individual can warrant overnight decisions, or gradual shifting in capabilities can require gradual care needs. Whatever the speed, caregiving comes when the need arises.
Evaluating your loved one is a crucial factor in determining when and what type of caregiving is needed. Physical issues may be clearer to determine but cognitive issues can be much harder to identify. Consult with a physician and check out our Adult Care: Levels of Care page for more information on the types of care available to suit individual care needs.
How can The Caregiver Foundation help me?
The Caregiver Foundation is here to provide practical and emotional support to caregivers, the elderly and disabled adults in need of care, and their families. We can help you:
- Create a plan for you or your loved one’s caregiving needs
- Coordinate caregiving services, including meals and transportation
- Manage daily finances for incapacitated or elderly adults
- Find an attorney to draw up trusts, special needs trusts, and other legal documents
- Manage your special needs trusts or act as Trustee
- Act as Conservator, Guardian, or Administrator
- Deal with the many emotions and stresses that can come with caregiving through one of our Caregiver Support Groups