Successful Aging: What you need to know about caregiving

The month of November is National Caregiving Month. Caregiving is an equal opportunity phenomenon. According to former first lady Rosalynn Carter, there are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” 

President Clinton signed the first National Care Givers’ Month proclamation recognizing and honoring family caregivers each November. Subsequent presidents have done the same.  

Take this brief quiz that may enhance your perspective on caregiving. 

1. Formal and informal caregivers differ according to their compensation.

True.  An informal caregiver is an unpaid individual such a spouse, partner, family member or friend. Formal caregivers are paid for their service, providing care in one’s home or in a daycare environment or a residential or long-term-care facility.

2. Each year, more than 53 million informal family caregivers provide the majority of support making it possible for older people and those with disabilities to live in their community. 

True. One in five Americans provide family caregiving support which comes to 53 million caregivers. Their support includes assistance for activities of daily living such as bathing, toileting and dressing. Add to that grocery shopping and meal preparation, getting to doctor’s appointments, home maintenance and managing multiple medications.

3. In 2017, the annual contribution of unpaid care of older adults from family members was estimated to be valued at $100 billion. 

False. The actual contribution of unpaid care is $470 billion. According to the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers, the current U.S. system of long-term services and support could not function without the contributions of unpaid caregivers.

4. There is a gender divide between family caregivers with 50 percent male and 50 percent female. 

False. Although there is a trend for more men to become family caregivers, 61 …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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