As Baby Boomers get older and require additional assistance, the number of caregivers nationwide is rapidly increasing. Individuals who juggle caring for aging family members while raising children and working full-time are referred to as the “sandwich generation.”
A survey conducted for the Sourcewise Area Plan for 2016-2020 of 200 Santa Clara County residents found that 33% of caregivers work full-time while caring for loved ones. Balancing these considerable responsibilities requires special attention to avoid burnout and promote self-care.
In order to successfully care for others, self-care is crucial. Make time to exercise, eat healthily, and enjoy a stress reducing hobby in order to stay energized. Find support at local community centers, which are a great resource for seniors. They provide meals, recreation, and socialization; helping your senior loved one feel more independent and less lonely. You will also have time to focus on other priorities – including your own relaxation.
A national survey from the Area Agency on Aging shows caregivers find support programs are effective in helping loved ones remain at home longer. Of those surveyed, 40% of caregivers have been caring for a loved one 2-5 years, and 29% have been providing care for 5-10 years. 77% of caregivers reported that supportive services helped them to provide care longer than would have been possible, and 89% shared that they have become a better caregiver through these offerings. Support is a key component for busy caregivers.
The Family Caregiver Support Program of Sourcewise offers respite to those caring for individuals with neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This program and others in Santa Clara County offer supportive services and assistance for caregivers.
For more information on caregiver resources, call a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.