Chapter 19

Services for Family Caregivers

In This Chapter

arrow Looking at who family caregivers are

arrow Preparing yourself for the responsibilities of the role

arrow Finding resources for information and support

An estimated 80 to 90 percent of long-term care in the community is provided by unpaid family members. Even when an older adult lives in an assisted-living facility or a nursing home, family members continue to play an important, albeit different, role. Despite the changes in family structures that exist today and the vastly different healthcare system that makes caregiving different from earlier eras, family ties are still central to most people's lives. And at no time does this become more meaningful than in times of illness or need.

If you are or may become a family caregiver for a parent or other relative, you will encounter many challenges as well as potential rewards. And if you are the person needing assistance, you too may face challenges in acknowledging your need for help and adapting to a new relationship.

Each family and each caregiving situation is different. Yet there are some common themes. This chapter stresses both these ideas. It is intended as a supplement to other ...

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