The Idea of Parent and Child Roles Changing is Affirming
I’m pleased to partner with Midlife Boulevard to bring you this important public service information about National Family Caregivers Month.
When you are young, you never think about getting older. Just last night I was talking to one of my first cousins who is 76 years old. She doesn’t look like she is 76 and she has no intention of broadcasting this fact even though she is not embarrassed by her age. She made me laugh with her comment that she puts on her 3 inch heels and her wig and refuses to talk about what ails her outside the home. She is aware that if we are lucky enough to age healthy, a time will come when we will need help to care for ourselves.
AARP has conducted research that establishes there are more than 42 million caregivers in the U.S.who provide an estimated $450 billion worth of unpaid care to aging relatives and friends. As a poor child with certain southern working class values, I grew up thinking that most people took care of their elders in this way. We did not call ourselves caregivers, but that is what we were and continue to be. Family members worked because no one could afford not to work and took turns caring for members in need. It was expected. Now the broader population and changing traditions make this more the norm than exception.Fortunately there is a recognition also of just how highly stressful this caregiving work is. But we also know know, as AARP’s research found, that this puts caregivers at risk for depression and anxiety immunosuppression, cardiovascular disease, premature aging, among other physiological consequences,as well as causing financial problems.
Here are several resources to help you, your friends or family members who might be on this journey. The following link is for general resources here. If you are just starting on your Caregiving journey, take a look at 12 Resources Every Caregiver Should Know About. If you are working and caregiving, this Free eBook: Juggling Work and Caregiving will come in handy. And finally, 10 Tips for Caregivers During the Holidays may be of great help for enjoying the holidays.
If you have questions, please ask me in the comments below. I am happy to share what I know and have learned. Just know that you are not alone.