Can You Be There For An Older Parent Without Actually Being There?

Can You Be There For An Older Parent Without Actually Being There?

(NAPSI)- One out of five adults is the designated family caregiver for a loved one who can no longer manage alone. Family caregiving is becoming a "normative" experience for American families, touching more households today than in the past. Yet, many who fall within the escalating role of family caregiver fail to view themselves as such, thereby potentially putting their employment, the care receiver and others in the family at risk.
If you manage or provide direct assistance to someone who needs help with day-to-day activities because of a chronic condition, cognitive limitations or aging... you are a family caregiver. Often, family caregivers underestimate the time required for caregiving as well as its affect on their ability to work. Working family caregivers may also incur significant losses in career development, salary and retirement income.
You are a family caregiver if you provide Activities of Daily Living (ADL) such as helping your care recipient with getting in and out of beds and chairs, dressing, getting to and from the toilet, bathing, dealing with incontinence or diapers, and feeding.
You are also a family caregiver if you provide Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) such as providing transportation, housework, grocery shopping, preparing meals, arranging for outside services, managing finances and giving medications.
Recognizing the effect of family caregiving on your work, being open to solutions and understanding that seeking help is in the best interest of you and your loved one are important in helping to regain a quality of life for all. You may need help if you find that you repeatedly go to work late or leave early, take time off during the day to provide care, have reduced from full-time to part-time work, have taken a less demanding job, are planning early retirement, have turned down a promotion or have had to take a leave of absence to fulfill family caregiving obligations.
The National Family Caregivers Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving can provide new ideas and resources that can help you get help, feel better and do better. Visit www.familycaregiving101.org a non-profit Web site made possible by the generosity of Eisai Inc.
Working family caregivers often underestimate the impact of caregiving on their jobs and career development.