In this day and age, we try to take care of our elderly as much as they took care of us. We may not be the one doing so first hand but we make sure that we give them the best care they deserve. And it is natural for us to do so, but often times, when we ask for this, we overlook the persons giving care to our loved ones as well. These involved paid caregivers as well as informal ones, or commonly known as our family members.
Basing on the research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is known that family members taking cared for a sick or elderly loved one usually suffers from elevated levels of anxiety and depression. They, in turn, are more prone to using psychoactive medications. These even result to reports self-harm as well as, compromised immune function. And the worst, an increased risk of early death.
Family members as caregivers
In this reported data, it was known that a lot of caregivers shared that they have compromised their health while on the job and this affected their job performance. A striking 40.7 percent of caregivers were reported to have two or more chronic diseases. Alongside this, there is roughly a third portion of it are disabled.
According to the American Psychological Association, reported evidence showing that caregivers who lack coping mechanisms and or have problems with depression are more at risk of developing preventable secondary complication which results in a general decline in functioning.
Caregivers and additional resources
Primary family caregivers should be supported with additional resources. These include but are not limited to secondary caregivers and physical and moral support. In a study made by a gerontologist, it revealed that caregiving should be a community effort and not just a one-person job.
In this case, the role of the caregiver is now should be respected in the health care community. They should also treat them with respect. For they are not just a partner in delivering treatment, but someone who’s also in need of help.
According to the study made by the American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation, most caregivers have taken on roles that are not on their job description. These include but are not limited to: giving injections and medications and medical treatments to their patients, which constitutes almost 37% of the caregiver’s population. Among this group, 77 percent shared that they have to ask for advice about the medicines and medical treatments they have to administer to professionals. In most cases, they get in touch with their health care provider.
This then suggests a harmonized approach to care what happens between multiple relevant stakeholders, especially to those in need of care. Getting an experienced navigator for your family member in need could definitely reduce strain for your primary caregiver, as well as increase the level of care administered to our loved ones.
Note that even though caregivers are the primary source of care for our loved ones, it is always appreciated when family members step in to help ease the burden and make life easier for everyone.