Tips to ease stress for family caregivers

bryan_aldrige

August 3, 2011

In 2009, the National Family Caregivers Association reported that almost one third of the U.S. population was providing care for an elderly or disabled family member. Caring for a family member can be time-consuming, and a recent Gallup survey found that, on average, family caregivers devote nearly half of each month helping their relatives with chores, medications and transportation.

Organization can help unload some of the burden by helping the caregiver and their elderly relative keep track of important financial, medical and personal documents. Making and maintaining an accurate, complete list of an older adult's medications can also help keep track of what's what and avoid issues with over-medicating, according to SmartMoney. A senior alert system can serve as a reminder for older adults to take their medication at the right time each day and help them avoid missing doses.

There are plenty of local resources that caregivers can consider contacting, such as adult day services, visiting nurses and senior centers. The U.S. Administration on Aging offers individuals who are caring for elderly relatives the Eldercare Locator, a useful tool to help them locate these services in their neighborhoods. This can also be useful for children of aging adults who may not live close enough to be there to help out.