CONTACT Barb Tyler, Office of Communications, (531) 530-7484, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln – February 17 is a date that honors individuals who selflessly provide personal care, as well as physical and emotional support to those who need it most. National Caregivers Day is an occasion to honor those who help our loved ones lead better lives. It especially applies to caregivers helping elderly family members who need long-term and delicate care.
This is a great opportunity to acknowledge the unpaid family caregivers in your life. According to AARP Nebraska, Nebraska's 240,000 family caregivers contribute more than 199 million hours of unpaid care each year, valued at nearly $3 billion. Women compose 85.5% of all elderly caregivers, while 14.5% are men. The average age of an employed elderly caregiver is 46 years old and most stay in their job for 1-2 years.
There are two types of caregivers; an independent caregiver is employed directly by a family. There is no intermediary agency between the care recipient and the caregiver. A private duty caregiver can provide a broad range of services, from medical and nursing care to bill paying and transportation services.
Qualities that every caregiver should have include:
Caregivers do face certain challenges, such as isolation as they can often feel cut off from the outside world. Stress may come into play as taking care of a person and being responsible for their health can be very overwhelming. Watch for any signs of caregiver stress, such as feeling constantly worried. Caregivers may often feel tired from not getting enough sleep or maybe too much sleep. Financial burden is another form of stress and should not be overlooked.
In Lincoln, the Caregiver Support Group meets monthly and is open to anyone providing informal or unpaid care for an adult age 60 and over; those caring for an adult with Alzheimer's or brain injury/disorder; and individuals 55 and over raising a grandchild. For more information call (402) 441-7070.
Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services provides respite assistance, which is the temporary use of a caregiver to give family caregivers a break from their responsibilities. For more information about the Family Caregiver Support Program and the Lifespan Respite Program, call 1-866-737-7483 or visit the webpage at https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Respite.aspx