|Posted on December 15, 2017 at 3:15 PM|
Definition of caregiver
One that gives physical or emotional care and support.
A majority of individuals who are caring for an older adult do NOT identify themselves as caregivers. They simply see themselves as fulfilling their role as a friend, neighbor, child, spouse, sibling, relative, or in-law.
The challenge with this is, that those who are supporting others (caregiving), need to make sure that they are taking care of themselves as well. Being a caregiver can seriously affect ones’ health, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.
When looking at the family caregivers who have reached out for support from the Office on Aging Caregiver Program, it becomes clear why “caregiver burnout” is not an unusual occurrence.
70% of caregivers are providing 24/7 care.
67% of caregivers are caring for those with dementia.
48% have been caretaking for 5+ years.
42% of caregivers are 70 years or older.
Many caregivers fall into multiple categories listed above, increasing the stress on the caregiver.
The good news is, that there is support available. One of the best places to start looking for support is at your local Area Agency on Aging.
In Larimer County, CO, that person is Lynette McGowan, Caregiver Support Program Coordinator. She is a passionate advocate for older adults
and their caregivers. She has spent thirteen years in this role, and prior to that, served as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Some of the amazing
resources she has for Larimer County caregivers are:
• Respite Vouchers - Money provided to assist with the cost of getting respite (a break from caregiving)
• Free Classes for Caregivers, providing valuable tools, support, and strategies
• Free Counseling for Caregivers (provided through CSU)
• Information on Caregiver Support Groups
If you are giving physical or emotional support to an older adult in your life, we encourage you this holiday season to give yourself the gift of
support. You truly do not have to go through this alone.
For more information on services in Larimer County, contact Lynette at 970-498-7758 or email her at [email protected]
Outside of Larimer County, you can google “Area Agency on Aging” to find an office near you.