Happy Family Caregivers Month!
There’s no other joy than being of service to others, but especially to your aging loved ones. Being a family caregiver is not just a thankless job but it is a special vocation that anyone can commit to – just as long as they have the heart and patience to fulfill their tasks as a carer.
For those who are living under a rock, you might find yourself asking….who is a family caregiver?
Simply speaking, a family caregiver is a member of a family who serves as the carer for the family’s elderly loved one. A more intimate type of caregiver, this person often has a special connection with their elderly because of the amount of time, effort and emotion invested on them in their works.
So far, we have identified different types of family caregivers. Namely,
- The adult children of the elderly
- Their grand-children and great grand-children
- Their spouses (if still able)
- Other members of the family
- Close family friends
If you are to look closely on the different types, you can say that anyone can be a family caregiver. In terms of functions, the family caregiver has a variety of major function to do aside from providing care to the elderly.
They are the ones who
- Provide personal care for their elder
- Serve as emotional support for their elder or their fellow caregivers
- Provide medical care when needed
- Take care of the house such as cleaning and paying utility bills
- Patient supervision
You can already imagine the amount of time and effort needed for the job from family caregivers. However, they should also be aware on what the consequences that they could encounter are whenever they care for someone.
Stress is a thing in caregiving
Given that there is so much to be done and that work is often piling up for family caregivers, it is normal for them to experience fatigue and be frustrated on their work but if they cannot find a positive outlet for it, it may damage their mental health.
Money talks often
Caring not only takes a lot of work but effort and money. Though some people often send their elderly to nursing homes, money is still a big question on both sides. From upkeep to medicine, there is a lot to be done. Furthermore, most family caregivers work for free and are not paid unlike their trained counterparts. This can get frustrating if you are aiming to purchase something important from them.
The caregiving life is a lonely life
One of the biggest downsides of caregiving is the lack of human interaction except when their elderly calls them for a good conversation or simply just to hang out. But majority of the times, carers find themselves alone with hardly anyone to talk to. This is where support groups come in and it is important that caregivers express their feelings every now and then.