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Are You a Caregiver?

Are You a Caregiver?

Over 25 million Americans are caregivers, but many when asked do not even recognize that they are indeed giving care.  They view their tasks as part of their daily routine or duties in their relationship with their loved one.

Caregivers can be family, friends, neighbors or someone you converse with many miles away.  There is no age limit to being a caregiver.  In fact, a five-year old child can provide emotional support to his ailing grandfather and an 89 year-old mother can provide medication reminders to her 60 year-old son.

However, identifying that you are indeed a caregiver can help in many ways.  First it allows you to realize all that you do for that loved one and in essence give yourself a pat on the back.  Plus it can help you evaluate if you are prepared and capable to continue these tasks or if you need to seek resources in the community to assist you.

Here is a quick and easy way to determine if you are a caregiver:

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  • Do you shop, do errands or accompany an aging loved one to their doctor appointments?
  • Do you provide emotional support to your spouse, parent, neighbor, adult child or friend through regular phone calls or conversations.
  • Do you provide physical assistance, an arm to hold while walking or help going to the bathroom, to a love one?
  • Do you remind an adult in your life to take their pills?
  • Do you cook or clean regularly or periodically for another in your life?

You are a caregiver when an older adult relies on you to help them with their daily activities.  These activities can be shopping, conversations, medication or assistance with mobility issues.  They can be very hands-on or handled long-distance.  However, without your intervention or the assistance from someone else the odds of this task being accomplished are not high.

A caregiver makes a tremendous difference in the lives of those they care for because without them their quality and quantity of life would be adversely affected. If you are a caregiver, thank you for all that you do.

According to Rosalynn Carter there are four types of caregivers: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need a caregiver.  Whatever your type is realize that you are not alone and that you are caring enough to give. Thank you!!

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