Caregiving and the Elderly

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CAREGIVING AND THE ELDERLY According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), caregiving is defined as the provision of assistance to another person who is ill, disabled, or needs help with daily activities. The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) recently stated that 44.4 million (18% of the adult population) are serving as cargivers to loved ones. There are many positive aspects of caregiving. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “Many family caregivers report positive experiences from cargiving, including sense of giving back to someone who has cared for them, the satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, personal growth and increased meaning and purpose in one’s life.” The journey of caregiving, initially, appears relatively simple and easy to embrace as it one’s duty to care for our loved ones. However, this is hardly the case. Caregiving poses its challenges and demands that if not addressed properly and in a timely manner can negatively impact the lives not only of the person being cared for, but the caregiver as well. According to the Emblem Health article published in 2012, “Cargiving requires an enormous physical and emotional commitment…each caregiver situation is unique, yet all share universal experiences that encompass physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns.” Fortunately, “Caregiver Support” programs have been developed to alleviate caregiver stress, enable caregivers to better cope with the demands of caring for their loved ones, and improve caregiver and care recipient outcome. One such “program” that provides the caregiver with easy and simple tips/techniques is detailed in the July 2011 publication offered by AARP titled “10 Ways to Deal with Caregiver Stress”. In the following, I will summarize the highpoints of the above article:
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