Nearly half of all caregivers ignore their own health when tending to the needs of a loved one.
According to an FGI survey* commissioned by Caregiver Monday, 47% of self-identified caregivers agreed that they spend so much time taking care of others they neglect to take care of themselves, while 45% agreed with the statement
“I feel stressed out most of the time and have trouble coping.”
The survey offers a stark glimpse into the mindset of millions of Americans tasked with these enormous, albeit common, obligations.
Caregiver Monday is sharing the survey results during November, National Family Caregivers Month. The NFCM’s goals are to celebrate, educate, and raise awareness about the issues surrounding caregiving.
But the survey suggests that one month of awareness is not enough.
Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of The Monday Campaigns, elaborated on the necessity of setting aside personal time at least once a week, “Caregiving can be a physically, mentally and emotionally taxing job -- but its importance cannot be overstated. We’re all indebted to our caregivers, and it’s our job to foster an environment that promotes their health and happiness.”
Fortunately, caregivers have an expanding array of resources at their disposal. Caregiver Monday, a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, is a weekly opportunity for caregivers to take a much-needed break for their own health and wellbeing. It offers useful tips and other materials to promote health and happiness within a caregiving role.
In addition to the resources available at Caregiver Monday’s website, caregivers can also visit the Caregiving Club at www.caregivingclub.com, which provides indispensable guidance as well as a weekly “Me Time Monday” video and accompanying tip sheet to help caregivers balance self-care with caring for a loved one. Caregiving Club CEO and Founder Sherri Snelling, a Caregiver Monday advocate, is a nationally recognized expert on family caregivers.
The first step towards better health for caregivers is recognizing that you are one. About half of the survey respondents who self-identified as caregivers fell between the ages of 45 and 64 -- 29% said they were full-time caregivers; 36% said they were not full-time, but spent most of their free time on their caregiving responsibilities, and 35% said they provide care occasionally by helping with errands or other small tasks.
Other survey findings include:
- 40% agreed with the statement “I feel overwhelmed and have trouble juggling all the demands in my life”
- 43% agreed with the statement “I feel isolated from others and have trouble reaching out when I need help”
Those that reported being full-time caregivers were more likely to agree with the above statements than those that played a caregiving role in their free-time or provided occasional care.
*Survey conducted using an online panel of 1010 US-based respondents with a margin of error of +/- 3%.
About Caregiver Monday
Caregiver Monday is a program of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit public health organization in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse. For more information, visit www.mondaycampaigns.org/campaigns/caregiver-monday
Original content +Bob DeMarco , +Alzheimer's Reading Room
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