3 ways caregivers can break traditions


March 10, 2011

Family caregivers are a growing demographic in the United States, in part due to the increased longevity and health of senior citizens and the higher number of older adults living in the country. This trend is causing some conventional notions of caregiving to break down, and Caring.com recently listed some of the fading stereotypes surrounding the caregiving role:

1. Care should stay within the family. While this may have been true when families lived closer together and caring wasn't such a universal experience, nowadays it's much better to accept the fact that one should reach out to friends and support groups as well as relatives. Forming the strongest support group possible is integral to caregiving.

2. Seniors should move into a child's house. This traditional notion may not be on Caring.com's list, but the fact is that new technology has made remote caregiving much more feasible than in the past. Installing a device such as a medical alert system can enable older adults to instantly send a personal emergency response message if they need help, which in turn can allow them to age independently.

3. Money is a private matter. Because caregiving can quickly become an issue that involves the entire family, it's important to consider the financial implications of the responsibility. Loved ones should discuss money frequently to better prepare for the future.