Family caregivers should reach out for support

Jasmine Phu

November 2, 2010

While the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) estimates that there are 65 million family caregivers in the United States, many still feel isolated and are hesitant to seek out a system of support.

However, November is both National Family Caregivers Month and National Alzheimer's Awareness Month, and families may want to take some time to reflect on the responsibilities of a caregiver and familiarize themselves with the resources and networks available to them.

"Family caregiving is more than a one-person job and reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather of strength," president of the NFCA Suzanne Mintz said in a statement. "It demonstrates a keen awareness of one's own abilities and an understanding that in order to successfully meet all your responsibilities, whether they are at work, at home, or in the community, you need to rely on others."

Many who are attending a spouse or elderly parent may also suffer from health problems due to high levels of stress.

One way to ease the burden is to install a senior alert system in a home. This device will ensure that older adults can send a medical alert to caregivers in the case of an emergency.

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