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Family Caregivers
Stay Healthy
Did you know that most elderly people who need help rely on family and friends to provide that assistance with, women providing the majority of care. It’s been reported that 25% of women caregivers have health problems as a result of their caregiving activities. This may be a result of having the dual responsibilities of working and caregiving.

Caregiving also impacts the economy. Family caregivers may call in sick, work fewer hours or leave the work force entirely. Business losses are estimated in the billions of dollars. This is in addition to the financial impact on the caregiver.

How to balance a career and caregiving while maintaining your personal health:

    Take care of yourself first. Just like we need Fire Fighters and Police to take care of themselves, as a caregiver you must follow the same rule. Your loved ones that depend on you need you to be rested and healthy. Take time out for yourself. Try to find others to help you provide the necessary care (i.e. an In-home care agency can work for you part time to provide some relief for a family caregiver).

    Educate yourself. In order to provide quality care the first thing to do is gather information. Learn about the illness or condition. Familiarize yourself with the medications and routines of the patient. Ask questions, and listen to the answers. It may not be as cut-and-dried as you may think

    .Be prepared. Know who to call before a crisis occurs. Take these steps:

    • Make sure you have a signed Release of Information on file with all medical sources.
    • Keep a complete record of: Medical history, medical conditions, allergies, surgeries, Doctors, current medications, date of birth, hospital preference, social security number, Advanced Directives, and Health Insurance information.
    • Keep an emergency contact list of neighbors, apartment managers, doctors, and other.
    • Determine what legal documents are in place and where they are kept, and have access to them. 
    • Inquire about how bills are being paid, get bank account info. and review the financial situation.
    • Evaluate the home for safety and appropriateness. Consider assistive devices.
    • Nutrition is important. Review meal preparation, shopping and diet. Some adjustments may be needed.
    • Be alert to the loved one’s health and treatment such as weight fluctuations, condition of toe nails, vision, hearing changes, and medications taken.
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