Christmas is over and a new year is upon us. This is the time when many people make resolutions.
Many New Year’s Resolutions focus on self-care, such as increasing exercise, drinking more water or spending more time with family. There is one major self-care item, however, that should be on many New Year’s Resolution lists, but too often is overlooked. That is the self-care of a caregiver.
According to U.S. Census data, seniors age 65 and older make up approximately 15 percent of the population. Ten years from now, that number will increase to 21 percent and, by 2030, seniors will make up one-quarter of the American population.
Longer lifespans coupled with lower birth rates are causing a significant increase the senior population compared to other age groups. However, longer lifespan does not equate to greater health.
Today, the numbers of people providing unpaid care are extremely high. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, 34.2 million Americans have served as an unpaid caregiver between April 2018 and April 2019. The Mayo Clinic simplifies this by stating 1 of 3 adults are caring for another adult.
This “unpaid” caregiving does not come without a cost. Unfortunately, much of that cost is the health of the caregiver.
Although not currently a recognized illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, caregiver syndrome, also called caregiver burnout or caregiver stress, does affect a large number of providers. READ MORE