Family Caregivers – Conditions Requiring Care
If you are new to the family caregiving role, know that you are not alone. It is estimated that more than 40 million Americans provide unpaid care to someone needing their assistance and more than half of them have served in the role for some time.
There are a wide variety of reasons as to why people need care. According to a report and survey conducted in 2015 by The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and the AARP Public Policy Institute, “three in five care recipients have a long-term physical condition (59%), more than a third have a short-term physical condition (35%), and a quarter have a memory problem (26%).” In addition, the study found that 37% of care recipients suffer from more than one ongoing problem or illness.
Many illnesses or injuries, whether chronic or acute, can result in the need for a caregiver. And this care may be long-term, short-term or indefinite.
Some of the health conditions that may require a caregiver include:
- Dementia / Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Developmental disabilities
- Traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries
- Mental health and psychiatric disorders
- Advanced heart disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Advanced diabetes
- Debilitating arthritis
If you have recently entered the role of caregiver for someone who is dealing with one of these conditions, just know that you don’t have to go it alone. There are usually caregiver support groups available locally and many local care facilities offer respite care for those times when you need a break. Also, don’t hesitate to get family and friends involved to help out and offer support.
Be sure to check out our caregiver blog, which has a number of articles you’ll find useful in helping you to navigate through your role as caregiver.
Source: Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 – The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and the AARP Public Policy Institute