Family Caregiving

family caregiving older adult

Wrapping up our month on caregiving posts, today we are talking about resources to support family caregivers. If you have an elderly loved one, chances are you have served as an unpaid caregiver in some capacity. Whether that’s bringing a meal over now and then or shouldering the day-to-day responsibilities of providing for their care, know that you are not alone, and there are many ways to obtain support for what you are doing.

What does Family Caregiving look like?

In 2020, the AARP and the NAC wrapped up a 5-year study on family caregiving in the United States. Some of their key findings:

  • In 2020, 41.8 million adults served as caregivers for a loved one aged 50 and over, comprising 16.8% of the US population. 
  • 32% of care recipients have memory challenges, including Alzheimer’s or other dementias
  • 23% of family caregivers report that caregiving has worsened their own health, and 21% rate their own health as “fair” or “poor.”

If you are a family caregiver, some of those statistics may resonate with you. Here are three resources we recommend for supporting YOU as a caregiver:

1. Family Caregiver Alliance

The FCA is based in San Francisco, California, and offers online resources to families in all 50 states including:

2. Your local Area Agency on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging are coordinated by the Administration on Aging and provide local resources that direct Seniors and their loved ones to any and all information pertaining to healthcare and daily management, particularly needs-based programming. 

  • AAAs are funded by a combination of local, state, federal, and non-profit sources. 
  • For an example of what your local AAA can provide, check out the North Shore Senior Center, which serves many of our clients. 
  • The AAA locator offers the Caregiver Corner, which provides specific support to caregivers for issues like talking to your employer about your caregiving responsibilities and managing family conflict surrounding a loved one’s care.

3. The Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading non-profit organization supporting Alzheimer’s care, research, and advocacy. They offer a wealth of resource for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, many of which are helpful for caregivers of all older adults, including:

Whatever your family’s situation is with caring for an elderly loved one, know that there are many ways to find the answers to your question and deal with the challenges that come with being a caregiver.

The 2020 AARP study also found that factors likely to increase a caregiver’s difficulty with coordinating a loved one’s care include higher age of a care recipient, being a primary and/or long-term caregiver, caring for a loved one with emotional or mental health challenges, and feeling that one has “no choice” in being a caregiver. At ACE Senior Care Navigators, we specialize in care coordination – for your Senior, and for you. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.