What is Family Caregiving?
Caregivers are family members, friends, neighbors, and others who assist an older adult without compensation.
There are currently 52 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., providing care to an adult with a disability or one who is ill. Of this care, 90% is in the home. The value of this care is estimated to be $306 billion. (Family Caregiver Alliance & AARP, Caregiving in the U.S. 2004, www.caregiver.org)
Assistance may include shopping, cooking, managing finances, overseeing medical appointments and treatments, or giving personal care. The recipients may live nearby or at a distance. Care needs often start out modest but can creep up over time, aging, or sudden health crisis into something quite demanding. Caregivers often feel overwhelmed by the strain of giving care in addition to their other responsibilities to family and work, which can lead to illness, fatigue, and depression. At the same time, family caregiving can be a very rewarding experience of intimacy and sharing.
PSRC professional staff support family caregivers by helping them discover and evaluate their resources and options. Master’s level staff includes licensed social workers certified in Gerontology and experienced in providing guidance and information about aging issues. Services include individual and family consultations, brief counseling, and education. Support groups provide peer and professional support.
Staff members evaluate a family’s needs, resources, and options and help them find the local services that they require.
· Information about local, state, and national resources
· Referral and linkage to local services
· Support groups for caregivers and children of aging parents
· Networking with other caregivers
· Consultations on the telephone, in the home or office
· Brief counseling
· Educational programs
· Resource library
· Community Resource Guide
· Web-based resources
· For area residents, services are coordinated with our Support & Guidance services for older adults.
“When my husband had a stroke, I had no idea where to go. PSRC helped me find the right care for him and made sure I took care of myself too.”
“I never thought the journey through Alzheimer’s would be like this. I am so glad I have this group to talk to. We give each other suggestions on how to handle the things that come up.”
“We knew when we visited last year that my father would need help if he was going to stay at home, but we live so far away and I didn’t know what the options were until I talked to the PSRC staff. They have been so helpful through the whole process.”