6 Signs That You are a Caregiver

Most of us, at some point in our lives, will be a caregiver to a family member or friend. You are a caregiver if you:

  1. Buy groceries, cook, clean house or do laundry for someone who needs special help doing these things.
  2. Help a family member get dressed, take a shower and take medicine.
  3. Help with transferring someone in and out of bed, help with physical therapy, injections, feeding tubes or other medical procedures.
  4. Make medical appointments and drive to the doctor and drugstore.
  5. Talk with the doctors, care managers and others to understand what needs to be done.
  6. Spend time at work handling a crisis or making plans to help a family member who is sick.

Family caregivers increasingly provide care for aging parents, siblings and friends, most of whom have one or more chronic conditions and who wish to remain in their own homes and communities as they age. Others belong to the "sandwich generation," caring for children and parents at the same time.

In small amounts, caregiving tasks can be manageable. But, having to juggle competing caregiving demands with the demands of one’s own life can be a challenge.

It’s time to seek professional caregiving assistance if care needs are becoming more challenging due to:

  • Type of illness. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease, other dementias, or other brain-impairing disorders may be more stressful than caring for someone with a physical impairment. Caring for someone with a cognitive disorder can be a 24/7 job due to the unpredictability of the care recipient's behavior.
  • Distance. Caring for someone who lives more than an hour away is difficult both emotionally and logistically. In these cases, the caregiver's role is primarily gathering information about available resources and coordinating services.
  • Setting. Caregivers living in rural settings may face challenges in accessing services or transportation, dealing with winter weather, and bridging barriers of geographic distance or isolation.

Home care or hospice care providers can address these challenges and ease the burden of family caregivers by offering in-home care services to those with chronic or life-changing health care issues. Respite services are also available to allow the patient’s primary caregiver and family members time to renew and refresh before reassuming the caregiving role.

Need help for yourself or someone in your care? For more information, call us at (855) 867-4692 or click here for more about hospice or home care options.

EveryStep provides care and support to patients, family members and their caregivers through chronic or serious illness, recovery or rehabilitation. Our experienced and compassionate staff can assist family caregivers in understanding the importance of nutrition, exercise, social ties, mental and spiritual health, and how all these things can contribute to wellbeing for individuals of all ages