Are you a caregiver? It's not unusual to care for both your children and aging parents at the same time – which is why AARP offers free resources to help cope with the stress and complexity.
There are more than 42 million volunteer caregivers in the United States, according to the AARP, “providing an estimated $450 billion worth of unpaid care to adult and aging relatives and friends.”
But many of them don’t even know it…
Caregiving is a major commitment and can be complex and highly stressful work. However, because many family caregivers think they are just doing their duty as a daughter or son, a wife or husband or a friend helping out someone they love, they do not identify themselves as caregivers and as a result, feel isolated and do not recognize there are resources to help them.
A national survey by the AARP finds about two-thirds of caregivers spend an average of at least nine hours a week providing care to someone over 50, and about one-third describe it as very difficult. A similar percentage admits to feeling isolated, and one in five “do not feel like they have the support they need when it comes to caring for a family member or friend.”
That’s why AARP is rolling out a public service announcement campaign to promote awareness and offer tools to caregivers. Visit www.aarp.org/caregiving to ask questions of experts, locate local home health or assisted living facilities, find legal and financial advice, and join a community of caregivers in similar situations. While there is an ad asking visitors to join AARP, it looks like all this is available for free.