Unpaid family care estimated at $257 billion a year

Jasmine Phu

June 7, 2011

There are caregivers all around us. The National Family Caregivers Association estimates that more than 65 million Americans are currently tending to the needs of a loved one in need of assistance, and those responsibilities often happen very subtly. 

Whether one is helping with the groceries once a week or dedicating 20 or more hours to watching over a family member, these duties can make it harder to think about personal needs. They can also cause chronic stress, which can lead to health problems.

Caregivers are sometimes unaware of important community resources, according to The Greenbay Press Gazette. Support groups can help prevent social isolation and caregiver burnout, and serve as a safe way for family members to talk about their situation in an understanding atmosphere. Additionally, some seminars can provide the tools and knowledge that families need to better care for a loved one.

Family caregivers may also want to consider installing a medical alert button in a senior's home. This device can be used to instantly get in touch with health services if assistance is required and can be ideal for older adults who are living independently. 

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