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A Look at Family Caregivers

Family Caregivers provide much of the care or assistance for people with health problems or disabilities living in the community. They help family members or friends with activities necessary for daily living, such as bathing and dressing, paying bills, shopping, running errands, and choosing health care coverage. Caregiving can also include emotional support or help to manage a chronic disease or disability. This can happen at the caregiver's home, the care recipient's home, or long distance.

Care Recipients are adults or children with a chronic illness or disabling condition or an older person who needs ongoing assistance with everyday tasks to function daily. The person needing help may also require primary and acute medical care or rehabilitation services (occupational, speech, and physical therapies). Every caregiver's role and responsibilities are unique. Perhaps you may have undertaken the role of a family caregiver for a family member who requires assistance a few days a week in their home, assisting a loved one that you had to move into your home, or a friend recovering from major surgery. You may be a long-distance caregiver caring for an adult disabled child or a family member with Alzheimer's. You may be a youth trying to balance school and social activities while caring for a disabled sibling. Regardless of where the caregiver lives, caregiving is often long-lasting and ever-expanding. Whatever the circumstances, caregivers share a universal oneness. There is that connection, and caregivers easily empathize with other caregivers. The joy, fulfillment, and contentment of assuring a loved one is cared for as you want to be cared for are rewarding. However, family caregivers often face many challenges. The challenges can include navigating the health care system, conflicts between siblings, or a loved one's reluctance to accept assistance. The old saying that caregivers often hear from healthcare providers, "People have the right to make wrong decisions, "is hard to swallow because a loved one's decision to accept or reject assistance dramatically affects a caregiver's life.

Are you a family caregiver or a baby boomer, or do you foresee yourself taking on the caregiving role soon? What stage of the caregiver's spectrum are you in? Remember that undertaking a family caregiver's role can be subtle, sudden, or unpredictable. Take a moment out of your busy day to take a few deep breaths, take a walk, read a book, or watch a funny movie, but most of all, reach out for help if you are at a point of caregiver fatigue or burnout. Caregivers Need caring, Too.

Are you just about to retire and enroll in a Medicare 2024 Advantage Plan or thinking about changing your or your loved one's present plan? In all your getting get an understanding to help you make informed decisions during the enrollment period. Please join us on October 19, 2023, Via Zoom at 7 p.m. For our monthly 45-minute Zoom information session, Making Sense of it All, Medicare Enrollment. Please RSVP on the website.

Diane Cooper

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