- Written by Barbara Bodzin, Executive Director
- Published: 30 October 2020
Caregiving for a loved one is oftentimes a deeply gratifying and fulfilling experience, yet it can also be a tough job that is regularly overlooked, or taken for granted. During a global pandemic, this role is even more critical and has fallen to many more individuals who have stepped up to care for family, friends, and loved ones. November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to express our deep gratitude to caregivers, who, because of the pandemic, have gone above and beyond lovingly giving baths, cleaning houses, shopping for, and comforting millions of those in need of care.
Family caregivers, particularly women, provide over 75% of caregiving support in the United States.
Family caregivers, particularly women, provide over 75% of caregiving support in the United States. COVID-19 isolation has forced many caregivers to work 24/7 due to the loss of day programs and necessary restrictions on the number of people coming into homes to maintain a safe environment. Having this responsibility in addition to managing their own lives can be overwhelming. Isolation brings new challenges and pressures for both the caregiver and those cared for, such as anxiety, depression, and a lack of outside stimulation, especially for those with dementia. In the face of all this, caregivers keep caring, and giving of themselves so that loved ones can maintain independence, dignity, and quality of life in the community. As community members, we are thankful for their endurance and strength of spirit.
At LifePath, we strive to help caregivers find balance and attend to some of the responsibilities of being an essential care provider.
- Our Family Caregiver Program focuses first and foremost on the caregiver, so we can support and help them navigate their vital role with a wide range of options.
- Community Options Resource Specialists are available to provide information and support, assisting consumers and their caregivers in developing a successful long-term care plan.
- LifePath facilitates virtual Dementia Caregivers Support Groups, which offer participants a place to ask questions, share experiences, and get answers.
Caregivers oftentimes need to leave paid employment, causing them financial hardship because of this loss of income.
- Family members, friends, and neighbors can get paid through our Consumer Directed Care and Personal Care Attendant programs. This allows consumers to hire one or more people of their choosing to help with daily tasks, including bathing, housekeeping, laundry, meal prep, medication management, running errands, and transportation. The consumer gets to decide what their caregiver helps them with, when they want to receive this help, and how they will receive it.
- Adult Family Care (AFC) is another program where caregivers living with a loved one may be able to get paid for the care they are providing. This program is available for those who need assistance with personal care and want to live in the community with a host family, which may be a member's own family.