When we typically think of a hero, they wear a distinctive suit, a long cape, and often have some type of unique power. Of course, these heroes are only in movies. Our real-life heroes are those who fight for our freedom and protect our families; our real heroes are the soldiers and veterans. And, unlike the heroes of Hollywood, often these heroes return home with both physical and psychological wounds, and require the support of a caregiver.
Just as a doctor needs to be trained to treat patients, a family caregiver needs to be trained to effectively care for their loved one. Almost half of caregivers in the United States have had to complete medical tasks for the care recipient, including managing medications, preparing special meals, giving injections, and operating medical equipment
Imagine working your job, but for no pay. But not just any job. This job has difficult and unpredictable days and countless nights spent in overtime—all without monetary compensation. This is the life of a typical family caregiver: working—often full-time— and not getting paid for it.
Just like the phrase, “You can’t fall in love with someone else until you love yourself,” you cannot care for someone else without caring for yourself. Because caregiving can be such a stressful job, forty to seventy percent of caregivers suffer from significant depressive symptoms, which can decrease a caregiver’s ability to provide effective care
The California Task Force on Family Caregiving would like to learn more about programs serving caregivers throughout the state.