Do you help take your parents to their doctor’s appointments? If you’re a woman over 50 in the United States, chances are high that you do.
While the average age of a family caregiver is around 49, over a third of all family caregivers are actually over 65. In addition to helping with daily tasks like shopping, giving medicine and preparing food, family caregivers often tend to transportation to doctor’s appointments as well.
Have you noticed that sometimes people don’t speak to disabled or ill persons because they don’t really know what to say? The same is true about caregivers. If friends don’t know exactly what to say to us, sometimes they say nothing at all.
Caregivers are usually dependable, persistent, detailed, vigilant – and seemingly tireless. But not many people would characterize caregivers as lonely. Yet as a caregiver, I have experienced many periods of loneliness. Depending on your circumstances, you may feel the same way.
Six in ten family caregivers are employed, the majority work full time. Surprisingly, 25 percent of family caregivers are Millennials.
According to Met Life, in the U.S. alone, employers incur $13.4 billion per year in added health care costs, and lost productivity is as high as $34 billion.
I believe caregivers are warriors. They are like angels walking on earth fighting for those around them who need to be protected, cared for and heard.
Strong, committed and dedicated, caregivers all over the world show up and selfishly put the needs of others before their own and champion for those who can’t do it for themselves.
Being a caregiver means putting aside large parts of your life in order to care for someone else. That can cause feelings of frustration and resentment, no matter how willing you are to do it.
As you know, fear and stress on the body can accumulate over time. It imprints in ways that you may not be prepared for, through the subtle and cumulative impressions of our experiences on our body and mind. It does not feel good at all.
Many in the aging services professions are already aware of the power of music on healing and particularly with dementia patients. Many patients can remember and sing songs even in advanced stages, long after they’ve stopped recognizing names and faces.