New Survey: Support for Family Caregivers Throughout the Caregiving Journey
November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize those providing unpaid care for an older family member or friend. The Caregiver Action Network has dubbed this year’s theme, “Be Care Curious,” in order to encourage family caregivers to explore support and resources available to help ease the many challenges associated with caregiving.
There are over 40 million family caregivers in the US, offering care to older adults in their life – from transportation to shopping, housework and medical/nursing tasks. Caring for a family member is a huge time commitment, emotional, physical, and financial burden, and it’s impossible to do it alone. As part of the Family Caregiver Council, a group of aging and caregiving organizations and leaders dedicated to offering support for caregivers at each stage of their journey, GreatCall urges caregivers to be curious and explore what options may work best for them.
To better understand how family caregivers search for resources, what type of information has proven to be the most helpful, and the areas caregivers still need more support in, The Family Caregiver Council surveyed family caregivers across the US to hear directly from the source.
We’ve discovered that when they began caring for an older family member or friend, 63% made decisions about the care they needed with the older family member or friend, rather than on their behalf.
But what comes next in the search for caregiving resources? The survey found:
- 54% of respondents find scattered information the most challenging component in searching for resources
- 56% of respondents find healthcare-related activities most challenging, even more than logistical planning and the time commitment
- Respondents primarily reply on doctors and healthcare professionals (46%) and online research (44%) to get their information and resources on caregiving
- Respondents say healthcare information would be the most helpful to have (43%), followed by financial (32%)
Family caregivers need more support and resources – this is clear. But they need resources addressing the most challenging aspects of caregiving, from tangible aspects like healthcare-related activities and logistical planning, to the emotional tole of the shifting relationship between family members and dealing with feelings of sadness associated with becoming a caretaker.
Caring for an older family member can be exhausting, stressful, and emotionally draining, to say the least. Members of the aging industry are here to help and can work together to make resources more accessible and easier to find for the curious caregiver.
For support with the many challenging aspects family caregivers are sure to encounter along the caregiving journey, visit https://familycaregivercouncil.com/.