It’s summertime and, as the song goes, the living is easy. But that’s not necessarily true for the estimated 34 million Americans who are caregivers. Long term care giving describes a spectrum of responsibilities, from overseeing long-distance care to care given in person. Long term care can run the gamut from help with medical appointments, to help dressing and bathing, to even housekeeping and yard maintenance.
The heaviest burden falls on the shoulders of those who live with the person needing care. While even professional caregivers can burnout, the stress caused by round-the-clock care by unpaid friends and family members can be a recipe for disaster. The cost of care giving can be both physical and mental, from exhaustion to depression. According to the CDC, over half (53%) of caregivers indicate that a decline in health has compromised their ability to provide care.
Caregivers who see neighbors and friends planning summer day trips and vacations may wonder when and how they will ever get a break. Many are unaware that several options exist to give them a much-needed break, and allow them to recharge their batteries. The caregivers’ dilemma is this: in order to provide the best care for their loved one, they must occasionally take a break to care for themselves.