Project for Care for a Caregiver

Overview

This kit helps you learn how to support a caregiver in meaningful and life enhancing ways. It also links you to resources on public benefits, accessible transportation, home safety, healthy behaviors and medication management.

The solution for the caregiver might seem obvious: Speak up and get help. However, asking for support is often the hardest step for caregivers to take.

The Problem

More than three in 10 American households report that at least one person has served as an unpaid family caregiver within the past year — that’s 65.7 million people, according to a recent, comprehensive study, Caregiving in the U.S. 2009 (www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-12-2009/caregiving_09.html). Most provide unpaid care for other adults age 50+.

The task of caregiving is enormous. Caregivers often put themselves at the bottom of the list of people who need care. In doing so, they put their own health at risk and often end up isolating themselves from their social networks.

The Solution

You can help a caregiver in many ways — for example, giving their loved one rides to the doctor’s office, organizing medicine, preparing meals or finding resources that can help families. It’s always good to remind caregivers that if they let others help them, they may avoid burn-out. When you support a caregiver, you’re helping both the caregiver and the loved one they care for.

Time Commitment

You choose. It could be a one-time offer of help with an errand or a special project. Or you might find that you want to devote time each week to helping a caregiver. The ideas in this guide require varying levels of commitment.

Special Considerations

Please ensure that you do not have a cold or other contagious conditions when visiting a care recipient.

Who can do this?

Everyone

Great Reasons to do this Project

  • Help caregivers balance their caregiving responsibilities with other demands in their lives
  • Give the caregiver a break — a time to relax, refresh and reduce stress
  • Offer extra help to the person being cared for