CAREGIVING

Why is caregiving important?

Caregivers help the aging, people with acute or chronic illness and people with disabilities remain at home and in their communities for as long as possible through assisting them with activities of daily living. There are about 40 million family caregivers in the United States that provide about $470 billion annually in uncompensated care to adult loved ones. Caregivers are vital, but their responsibilities can take a physical, emotional and/or financial toll—making support for them absolutely essential.

  Photo Courtesy of LeadingAge

Photo Courtesy of LeadingAge

Stories

"Even being disabled as I am, I also am helping care for someone else. Care should not just be the doctor’s office or hospital stay, but for helping those that need it live a life that gives the patient peace of mind knowing they are loved and matter."

-  J. Justice from Utah

"I am a 76 year-old married to a 90 year-old man for 54 years. I take complete care of my husband as a duty an obligation of the oath of marriage. We live on job pensions and Social Security. It would be wonderful if I could just have a few hours a week to pursue my personal interests, just have lunch with a friend. If there was something in place that could provide some service to older people having to be a 24/7 giver, that relief would be wonderful."

-  G. Davison from California

"My mother is turning 104 in a couple of weeks. I take care of her at home. I wish there was assistance for families that care for their elderly at home."

-  J. Smith from Florida

Programs that provide support

In some states, Medicaid allows family members to be paid as family caregivers. The Department of Veterans Affairs has several programs that help low-income veterans and family caregivers. Most people don’t know that Medicare and Social Security generally do not provide such supports. There may also be programs in your state that support caregivers.

Resources and tools

The following resource links will direct you to the web sites of the listed organizations: