Respite Care Ministry
Caring for a Loved One
Caring for a loved one who has a chronic illness or disability can be one of the greatest gifts you give, but it can also be very challenging. There may be physical and emotional strains for those who are in a caregiving role on an ongoing basis. It can mean assuming a new role and most likely, a role that was unexpected and a role that was not planned for. There can be many additional responsibilities, losses, and a shift in roles for both a caregiver and a care receiver.
Family caregivers of any age are less likely than non-caregivers to practice preventive healthcare and to work at creating a balance in their lives, so their health and well being become more at risk. Caregivers report that their most frequent unmet needs are time for self, managing stress, balancing work and family responsibilities, identifying resources, long distance caregiving, and affordable respite.
As our population ages, caregiving is a responsibility that is expected to touch nearly all families. There are 65 million Americans who are providing some level of care for a relative or friend or neighbor during any given year (or 29% of the population.) We perform many roles in caring for a loved one by offering physical care, household help, financial support, transportation, and emotional and spiritual support. The direct care and support by family caregivers represent 80% of all home care services being provided in our country. (statistics from Caregiving in the U.S., a study by the National Alliance on Caregiving and AARP, 2009.)