Are you a family caregiver?
Family caregivers provide unpaid care and assist loved ones who need support, at their home, in supportive housing , assisted living, or a residential care facility, because of age, injury, long-term chronic illness or disability.
Caregivers simply think of themselves as spouses, adult children, siblings and friends. Seniors are caring for spouses, boomers are caring for aging parents, and young people are caring for adult siblings or parents with a disability.
What do family caregivers do?
Caregivers help with daily care activities such as bathing, dressing, feeding, grooming, medication management, toilet hygiene, and transferring (e.g. getting in and out of bed); these are called activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs refer to functional status and are assigned high importance in health care.
Carers also assist with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), which help seniors continue to live independently. These include such things as cooking, finances, housekeeping, oral hygiene, managing medical appointments, pet care, religious observances, selecting and supervising helpers, shopping, and transporting.
And there is more: emotional support; exercise; foot care; grocery shopping; home repairs; hospital visits; housing; laundry; legal issues; making the home safe; socializing; and end-of-life care.
Why do family caregivers need to take good care of themselves?
Caregiving is a wonderful way to express love and to give back to family members and friends. The work caregivers do is a gift to the people being cared for, and to our communities. While caregivers help and honour their care recipient, they also experience stress given the numerous tasks they face. All these tasks can affect physical, financial, mental and emotional health. The stress and losses (the things caregivers have to give up) add up and can create caregiver stress. If you can no longer cope with the tasks of caregiving, your care recipient(s) also suffers.*
*United Way of the Lower Mainland’s Family & Friend Caregivers Information and Resource Handbook
Check out our latest section called Caregiver Corner in the monthly Newsletter starting in November 2017 for an article by one of our board members who is also a caregiver.
Caregiver Connection is a newsletter published by the Family Caregivers of BC four times a year, once every season. It serves to provide family caregivers interesting and informative articles directly related to caregiving issues. Read the latest Caregiver Connection below!
Family Caregivers of British Columbia aims to provide support to family caregivers, education, and much more. Support is provided through one-to-one support, information and referral to community resources, help in navigating the healthcare system, and connecting family caregivers to support groups. Education is provided to family caregivers through webinars (BC-wide); workshops; bi-monthly newsletter (The Network News); resource library of books, videos, and handouts; Caregiver Wellness Booklet; Resource Guide for Fmaily Caregivers (2nd Edition); Lunch and Learn sessions for employees; and support group volunteer facilitator training. Explore the website for more details.Access the website