The Family Caregiver Alliance defines a caregiver (sometimes called an informal caregiver) as “an unpaid individual involved in assisting others with activities of daily living and/or medical tasks.”
While most (82%) caregivers provide care for one adult, 18% of all caregivers are providing care for 2 or 3 adults according to the most recent data.
Whether caring for one person or more, caregiving not an easy task… it goes beyond just helping out, and instead involves taking on the responsibility for the well-being of at others.
One useful piece of advice for caregivers is to put a name on what they are doing.
The quicker a person identifies her/himself as a caregiver, the quicker he or she is able to recognize and deal with the roller coaster of emotional stressors that come with the journey, which include:
- Poor or interrupted sleep
- Feeling isolated
It’s also important to recognize that the common reactions listed above are all normal responses to caregiving. Knowing that you are experiencing what every caregiver goes through can help you deal more effectively with those feelings.