Identifying as a Caregiver

Are you a Caregiver?

It’s not a trick question…⁠
Many people who are family caregivers don’t even realize their role. Regardless if your aging parent or loved one lives with you, in a long term care facility or in the next state, you can still be a caregiver…⁠

❔Are you responsible for any part of a loved ones emotional, physical or mental wellbeing? ⁠
❔Do you manage medications? ⁠
❔Do you take them to the doctor or other appointments? ⁠
❔Do you manage their finances or are you on their checking account? ⁠
❔If they get sick or hurt are you the first one called to help?⁠
❔Are you responsible for any household activities such as cleaning, laundry, yard work, grocery shopping, meals, etc. ⁠
❔Do you coordinate appointments or care to a third party like a home care agency or home health? ⁠

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are officially a caregiver.  You may not identify as a caregiver now but if you are, or plan to be involved in any of these activities in the future, you will be a caregiver. Statistically, the majority of people will care for a friend or family member at some point in their lifetime.  

With more than 4.9 million or 1 in 5 Americans reported to be caring for an aging loved one, if you are asking the question,

“Am I considered a caregiver?”

The answer is more than likely yes. But still a large percentage of caregivers do not identify themselves as “family caregivers”.

Recognizing Your Role as a Caregiver Matters

Recognizing yourself as a caregiver may seem unimportant but in reality it can have serious consequences.  It can cause a caregiver to fail to recognize the increased demands placed on them; on top of their normal everyday responsibilities with work, kids, home, finances, and the stressors of normal everyday life.  Add in caring for another person and its no wonder caregiver burnout is a very real concern.

We also see people do may not see themselves as “caregivers” fail to reach out for support or resources that could be impactful for both themselves and the person they are providing care.  Many times a person may see their role in caregiving as an expectation or “just something you do for the people you love.” More attention and awareness of family caregivers and the vital role they play in long term care is being recognized and resources are becoming more readily available. Beyond Home Care and many other long term care services want family caregivers to know you are not alone in what can often feel like a very lonely role of caring for your loved one. It doesn’t have to fall all on you. We would love an opportunity to talk about how our services may support you and your loved one on this journey. 

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