A Labor Day “Thank YOU” To Caregivers

In honor of Labor Day I’d like to salute two groups of people:

PROfessional Caregivers; whose job is helping families know what a hard day’s work feels like. They also know the satisfaction that comes from making a real difference in the lives of those they assist.

PERsonal/Family Caregivers; the tireless men and women who sacrifice to make sure their aging loved ones are cared for, often as they’re caring for their own children, their spouses and—when time allows—themselves.

The needs of our loved one’s don’t take a vacation. Caregivers—whether they are formally trained or have found themselves in a caregiving situation because of a loved one’s needs—often spend holidays like Labor Day with an aging parent or grandparent, or working, and rarely get to “take a day off!”

More workers than ever before are juggling two jobs—their paid work and caring for a loved one.  Candidly, we would like to make that three jobs and include caring for themselves!

Baylor researchers estimate that 25% of employed adults in the U.S. are providing care for an elderly loved one—and some are caring for two or three elders. Here are some other statistics from the report:

Nearly 75% of these workers experience frequent work interruptions, and 50% of the interruptions are “severe”—especially among those whose loved ones have Alzheimer’s disease or other memory loss.

More than 40% of the caregiving employees spend at least 10 hours per week caring for their loved ones.   70% report that their loved ones have chronic health conditions; 80% have physical limitations.

Here at the “Defender Of Caregivers” we have a unique perspective in serving both PROfessional and PERsonal/Family Caregivers… and offer a reminder of the almost co-dependent nature of these two different/yet similar type of Caregiver roles.

We all benefit from a greater understanding, trust and appreciation of others.  So, on Labor Day, we wish to say, thank you.

To the PROfessional caregivers: Thank you.

Thank you for the compassion and warmth you show while striving to help others. Thank you for dedicating your working life to the pursuit of Making Life Easier for those in need.

To the PERsonal/Family caregivers; Thank you.

Thank you for the time and effort you put into taking care of your family, and for allowing others to assist you.

Here are some PRO-PER Caregiver tips: 

Talk to your employer.  You might not want to share your “personal business,” but remember it’s better that your boss knows what’s behind any caregiver-related tardiness or absences. And you may be pleasantly surprised! The Baylor University researchers found that many companies in their study actually offered caregiver support resources—but the employees didn’t know about it.

Talk to other family members. Prepare a list of tasks you’ve been doing for your loved one, the amount of money you spend, and the time you take off work. Other family members may be able to take on more of the caregiving load or help pay for professional services.

Talk to your loved one. This should begin with a candid conversation about their financial situation. Would they be able to pay for care services? Is their home still a good fit, or would a move to an assisted living or other senior support community be better? If your loved one is able to have the conversation, it’s important for you to explain how your work is affected.

Consult professionals. The eldercare system is complex! Many services may be available for your family, but first you have to find them. Talk to a geriatric care manager (also known as an aging life care professional), an elder law attorney, a financial advisor and your local senior support agency. And remember, if your company has a caregiver assistance and referral program, that can be a great place to start.

Thank YOU for Caring!

Source: IlluminAge AgeWise with information from Baylor University and the Harvard School of Business. and post from CaringStrategies.