November 22, 2016

Challenges Associated with Family Caregivers

The role of a family caregiver can be incredibly challenging.  It is a challenge that will affect almost everyone. In fact, over 80% of people will be family caregivers as some point in their lives. There are over 45,000,000 family caregivers currently in the United States. If you are not currently a family caregiver there is a high probably that you will be a family caregiver soon or know someone that is.

Serving as a family caregiver has been shown to have both mental and physical negative outcomes. The statistics are actually quite alarming. When discussing the mental health effects over 60% of family caregivers suffer from depression. They are typically on anti-depressants at 2-3 times the rate of the general population. In addition, a very high rate report having suicidal thoughts. The health challenges experienced by family caregivers are also very critical. Nearly 67% of family caregivers report health decline.  They typically suffer chronic illnesses at near double the general population.

Family Caregiver Resources

At Griswold Home Care we take a complete approach to supporting family caregivers. Not only do we have offer Home Care Services which can relieve some of the caregiving burden but we are also involved in the family caregiver community and take pride in knowing the best resources for family caregivers.

Ryan McGuire, the Director of Community Relations is the Chair for the Family Caregiver Support Coalition and leads a weekly family caregiver support group at the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, he recently founded a company that specializes in training family caregivers in hands on skills. He believes that the healthcare community should be preparing family caregivers in the responsibility that they have. At the very least the healthcare community should be prepared offer great advice and resources for family caregivers.

Local Family Caregiver Resources

The family caregiver resources below are great community resources for families that really need the support.

Alamo Area Council of Governments (www.aacog.com) – AACOG has dedicated resources for Alamo Caregiver Empowerment and Alamo Area Agency on Aging. They provide services connections for providers of care, health needs, support and public benefits.

VA Caregiver Support (www.caregiver.va.gov) – The VA provides caregiver support and can provide information regarding available assistance from the VA including how to access services and benefits.

Alzheimer’s Association – San Antonio Chapter (www.alz.org/sanantonio) – Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association advances research to end Alzheimer’s and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease.

Elizabeth McGowan Training Institute (www.mmlearn.org) – Free online training and educational vides for family caregivers and health professionals.

Upward Care (www.upwardhealthcare.com) – Hands on skills training workshops for family caregivers.

WellMed Caregiver SOS (https://caregiversos.org) – Offer stress busting classes, a podcast focused on caregiving issues and other family caregiver resources.

MS Society (https://www.nationalmssociety.org/) – Local family caregiver resources caring for someone diagnosed with MS.

ALS Association (www.ALSTexas.org) – The ALS Association and the Texas Chapter operate under a shared mission: To discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.