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Family Care Giving

Most of us know someone who has been a family caregiver or maybe we’ve even been a family caregiver. A caregiver is anyone who provides basic assistance and care for someone who is sick, disabled, living with a chronic disease or experiencing the impact of aging. Caregivers provide a variety of different tasks depending upon what the needs are. They can include basic activities of daily living, like taking someone to the doctor or helping someone with dementia. In most instances, the individuals performing these tasks don’t think of themselves as caregivers. They are just doing what is expected of them.

Families are the major provider of care giving. While care giving can be a wonderful experience, research has shown that care giving imposes a heavy emotional, physical and financial toll. Many caregivers who work and provide care experience conflicts between these responsibilities. It is estimated that twenty two percent of caregivers are assisting two individuals, while eight percent are caring for three or more. Many caregivers are over age 50, making them more vulnerable to a decline in their own health, and they often describe their own health as fair to poor.

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