Caregivers and the Importance of Self-Care

There are an estimated 44 million family caregivers in America. This unpaid workforce saves the healthcare system at least $306 billion annually, according to some estimates. The impact of this important work on caregivers can be life-altering in emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual ways. Caregivers show higher rates of depression, stress, frustration and physical and mental illness because of the strain of being a caregiver. Because of this, it is vital for caregivers to receive support, training, and tools to make their caregiving journey as successful as possible. Read "Caregiver Health: A population at risk" on the health impacts of caregiving, here

Assessment Tools

The Alzheimer's Association has a checklist for caregivers designed to measure stress. Take the short quiz, here.

 

Caregiving.com is a comprehensive resource for caregivers including a caregiver blogs, training tools, and webinars. The founder, Denise M. Brown, a certified caregiving coach, published a handbook for caregivers "The Caregiving Years: Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey". Read the six stages of caregiving, here.

The National Alliance for Caregiving is an organization dedicated to research, policy, and advocacy for caregivers. They offer a selection of resources helpful to caregivers, here.

To read more about the caregiving journey and what to expect at each stage of caregiving, read "Caregiver Journey Map: Supporting those with Alzheimer's and other dementias", published by AgingWell Hub, co-founded with Philips, a cross sector collaborative of the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. Download the book, here.

Community Resources 

The Alzheimer's Association offers support groups for the caregivers of persons with dementia. See if there's a support group in your area, here.
 

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) is a secure online service for quality information, support, and resources for family caregivers of adults with chronic physical or cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and other illnesses.
1-800-445-8106 (toll-free)
info@caregiver.org
www.caregiver.org

FCA offers videos, webinars and other training materials for caregivers in their online learning center, here. View videos on the FCA YouTube Channel, here.

Creating Confident Caregivers® is an educational training program for family members who are caring for a person with a dementia related illness, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. The Creating Confident Caregivers®  program has been proven to reduce caregiver stress by providing caregivers with useful tools and information.

Check with the Area Agency on Aging in your community to find times and locations for this valuable workshop, here. The workshop is offered free of charge to caregivers.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers provides a self-care education program for family caregivers. The Powerful Tools for Caregivers program will provide you with tools and strategies to better handle the unique caregiver challenges you face. **Some (not all) Area Agency on Aging offices in Michigan offer this course free of charge to caregivers.

https://www.powerfultoolsforcaregivers.org/

Educational Videos

How to Manage Compassion Fatigue in Caregiving | Patricia Smith | TEDxSanJuanIsland

How to Relieve the Stress of Caring for an Aging Parent: Amy O'Rourke at TEDxOrlando

Self-care for Caregivers | Linda Ercoli | TEDxUCLA

Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout - University of Wisconsin Extension