Helping Caregivers Helps Everyone
Family caregivers comprise an unseen (and often underappreciated) part of their social and economic communities. For many elderly individuals or people with disabilities, caregivers are the reason they can continue living comfortable, healthy lives at home. One 2017 report estimated that caregivers in the United States provided a cumulative 34 billion hours of care to their loved ones that year. While most family caregivers aren’t paid for their work, the report calculated the economic value of their labor to be somewhere around $470 billion.
How Caregiving Affects Caregivers
For many caregivers, their caregiving duties amount to a part-time job. This can put a tremendous amount of strain on the caregiver. Research has shown that many caregivers suffer the following consequences as a result of their caregiving duties:
- Poorer physical health – nearly twice as many caregivers report chronic health conditions than non-caregivers.
- Poorer mental health – caregivers tend to experience higher levels of stress than their non-caregiving counterparts. What’s more, they also tend to engage in self-care and preventive health behaviors less often. Surveys have shown that 40%-70% of caregivers display clinically significant symptoms of depression.
- Professional setbacks – 53% of caregivers report that their caregiving duties have a negative impact on their job performance. Between the loss of jobs and absenteeism issues at work, the economic effect of caregiving is estimated to be around $44 billion.
Awareness, Education, and Support for Caregivers Is Essential
As the proportion of older individuals grows larger and the demand for caregivers increases, it’s essential that we take action to make caregiving more sustainable. To that end, public health experts have emphasized the following community-level and individual actions:
- Increased public awareness of the essential role that caregivers play, as well as the impact that caregiving has
- More robust education, support programs, and resources for caregivers to help them become more effective and knowledgeable in their caregiving duties, as well as take care of their own health and well-being
At FSL, we understand that caregivers are vital to our communities. If you or someone you know is a family caregiver, FSL offers resources and support programs that can help ease the burden of caregiving. Visit our website for more information about our Caregiver Education Series, adult day care services, and Care By Design Program.
🎉 Family Caregiver Celebration Events
Established in 1974, FSL is dedicated to providing integrated, customized care for those who need it in the Phoenix area. We offer a wide range of home- and community-based services, including:
- Affordable housing options
- Nutritious meal programs
- Health & Wellness programs
- Senior centers
- Recreation programs
- Support for caregivers
These services are designed to enable Arizonans of all ages to live happier, healthier, more independent lives. So, if you or someone you know is struggling to have their needs met, don’t hesitate to contact us and find out how we can help you. And if you’re looking to give back, consider donating or volunteering your time to our mission. We can’t wait to work with you!
To learn about FSL nutrition programs, click below!