According to to Dr. Sandro Galea, DrPH of Boston University's School of Public Health, as a nation we are nearing the time of the Baby Boomers coming into retirement age. In his article, "The Mental and Physical Health of Caregivers" Dr. Sandro expressed concern that the "informal caregiver" (Family Caregivers,those not in the paid profession of caregiving) "face many of the same scenarios that confront professional nurses but do so without the training and expertise of the experienced RN's who will soon leave the Healthcare field."
The doctor went on the note that "...population aging is one of the central demographic shifts, of the coming century, and a key challenge for public health..." I thought about this and realized that even further endangers Mental Health Family Caregivers who care for loved ones with mental illness, because healthcare on it's own is facing a shortage of qualified individuals, and if you are a Mental Health Family Caregiver you already know there is a shortage of mental healthcare professionals. Creating an even more unique challenge for mental health caregivers.
It's going to be of the utmost importance to stay educated on what is being offered in our areas for mental health family caregivers and the loved ones they care for.
According to Caregiver.com's Survey on Marriage & Caregiving, out of 300 respondents, 80% of those who participated in the study said that caregiving placed a strain on their marriage.
Are you prepared for your future as a mental health caregiver?
What are some ways to be proactive in securing the tools and resources you need to stay in front of the needs of you and the loved one(s) you care for?
We are doing our part to ensure that we are as prepared as we can be as caregivers, but our concerns do turn towards our parents as they are all retired, my mom and my husbands mom and dad. As the eldest of our siblings it is a reality we will be the main caregivers for our parents, but there is a reality that there are caregivers out there who at this moment don't have a backup for their loved one they are caring for. That reality is also true for the Baby Boomer Caregiver.
Having as many resources as possible to help our Caregivers is Homagi's goal. Stop by here to find updates on what's going on the world of Mental Health Caregiving in the news. We will gather information we find, and you can access it using the "Baby Boomer Mental Health Family Caregivers" chat room in "CareFULLY" our Mental Health Caregiver Community. Google and local resources are options as well.
Support from other mental health caregivers is a great way to find ways to cope. Hearing from other Caregivers how they have made it through or what they've gone through can help immensely. Just to know you aren't alone, and to find other resources you may not know about otherwise. Homagi's "CareFULLY" is an online mental health caregiver community where you can find other caregivers who are also on this journey. Take a tour of "CareFULLY" here.
Therapy for caregivers is a great tool and investment, and some organizations offer free counseling and mental health family caregiver support groups like NAMI's "Family to Family"
Baby Boomers & Caregiving
"Over 10 million
adults over the
age of 50 - primarily Baby Boomers -
care for an aging parent..."
- MetLife - "The Metlife study of Caregiving costs to working caregivers:
Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers caring for the parents"
"There are spiritual parts of ourselves that play a critical role in health and healing. Listen to your heart, for it's in your heart where that felling tells you, "I'm not quite where I want to be." Once you hear that, honor it. Then you can begin to do something."
- Dr. Marcellus A. Walker, founder of the Center for lifeline Health, and medical director of Wayne Woodland Manor (From: Blessed Health the African American Woman's guide to physical and spiritual well being by Melody T. Mc Clound, M.D. and Angela Ebron