Are you a typical family caregiver?

Most often I find that I don’t fit the mold, how about you?

I did find the information about the typical family caregiver interesting.  For example, I was suprised to see that the average caregiver is 49 years old.  It was not shocking that it was a woman.  But the fact that she is in good to very good health was also surprising to me since there is so much discussion around the need for self-care and how most caregivers don’t do that well. 

Check out the graphics below and let me know in the comments what you found most surprising as well as least.

My caregiving season lasted 4.5 years. When I started making the 220-mile drive I never dreamed it would last that long. I struggled with guilt when I thought about how nice it would be not to need to be in two places at once since I knew the only way that would happen was when Dad was gone. I feel blessed to have had that time now that he is gone.
Are you a typical caregiver according to national research? I lived 220 miles away from my Dad but my sister was just a few miles away. We were blessed to be a team. How about you? How far away are you from your parent?
Are you a typical caregiver according to national research? My sister and I did not fit in this category.
Would you describe yourself as in good or very good health? Do you feel that your health is being affected by your caregiving role?If so, it is time to do something different. What comes to mind that you can change today?
I think many people don’t label themselves a caregiver when they are doing IADL (Instrumental activities of daily living) but our definition is too narrow. Just because you are not called on to do the physical things required for daily life doesn’t mean you arent’ providing vital help your parent needs!
I think this is the number one reason most FAMILY CAREGIVERS do not consider themselves a caregiver. You don’t have to be paid in order to be a caregiver. Why does it matter if you realize you are a caregiver? Embracing the label means better understanding the risks, benefits, and responsibilities of your role in your parent’s life.

Are you holding down a job while caring for your parents? Most FAMILY Caregivers are!  Often we just see our selves as a daughter, not a caregiver but I hope you can see that you are both.

The National Alliance for Caregiving shares its survey results from 2015 survey but they also note the profile of a caregiver is changing. To learn more

Get Your Copy of the Caregiver Profile

This profile summarizes data from the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 research study, jointly conducted with the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP.1 While the data presented below provide aggregate information about the average caregiver, it should be noted that the face of caregiving is changing.  Family caregivers come in all variations and circumstances—from the grandson helping his grandmother out by cutting the grass and driving her to the store a couple hours a week; to the mother helping her adult son 10 hours a week with various activities due to his post-traumatic stress disorder; to the adult daughter caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s; to the wife caring for her husband around the clock to deal with his stroke, diabetes, and wound care.

National Alliance for Caregiving
AARP Public Policy Institute

Rayna Neises: A Season of Caring