Friday, April 24, 2009

Caregiving, part one

Posted by Leona Bergstrom

Over the past few weeks we have discussed some of our own dilemmas with caring for older parents. We’ve shared some of the pain, the frustration and the fear. I’m reminded that while I have taught many audiences about family caregiving, it is a whole different matter when the issues impact your own loved ones!

Digging for resources and ideas however, prompted me to get out some of the material I have utilized for community education settings. I’ve drawn on the wisdom of those who have walked this journey. Over the next few weeks I will post some of that information and hope that it can encourage and help others (as well as us!).

Here’s a preview:

We are not alone in this caregiving journey. Look at the stats:
• More than 50 million people in the U.S. provide are for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member of friend during a given year. (U.S. DHHS 2000)
• The typical family caregiver is a 46 year old woman caring for a widowed mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed. Approximately 60% of family caregivers are women. (National Alliance for Caregiving, 2004)
• 17% of family caregivers are providing 40 hours of care a week or more. (National Alliance for Caregiving, 2004)

(For more information on the impact caregiving has on healthcare, the economy, personal stress, and other factors, visit
(Photo by Lance and Erin, shared via Flickr)

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