The senior population in the U.S is rapidly increasing—a trend referred to as a silver tsunami. According to a recent article in www.servingseniors.org, 40 million Americans are over the age of 65. By 2030, the senior population in the U.S. is expected to double to 91 million, with 11 million seniors residing in California.
As a result of our rapidly expanding senior population, more family members are cast into a new role: caregiver for an aging parent, spouse, or relative.
Caregiving is challenging and may require additional skills to successfully balance the needs of the person requiring care with those of the caregiver.
Caregivers can reduce anxiety by preparing themselves.
- Learn as much as you can about your family member’s illness or disability. Educating yourself may reduce your anxiety about your new role and increase your effectiveness as a caregiver.
- Seek out other caregivers by participating in a support group. Caregivers often find comfort in giving and receiving support from others in similar situation. Interacting with others helps to reduce isolation and build confidence in caregiving techniques.
- Encourage your loved one’s independence. Caregiving does not mean doing everything for your loved one. Discuss strategies to strengthen independence and self-sufficiency when possible.
- Plan in Advance. Discuss a plan of action for situations including power-of-attorney and advanced health care directives.
Equipped with the right resources and support, even those new to this crucial role can become a skillful, loving caregiver. Effective balance and knowledge of available resources are the keys to success. Sourcewise Community Resource Specialists can offer more information on caregiver support: (408) 350-3200, option 1.