Caregiver Support Program - Your Health as a Caregiver

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A recently introduced Caregiver Support Program through provides 30 days of daily inspiration for caregivers and makes a great gift or value-added benefit. Each day for 30 days the recipient receives an inspiring video, a message that is uplifting and soothing. While you listen you also watch beautiful nature videos and listen to serene music in the background. Here is the script from Day 2 of the Program.

There once was a daughter named Diane who lived in Florida. And her mom Philomena who lived in south Philadelphia. As Philomena aged, she eventually decided to move in with Diane. Diane became her caregiver.  And Diane did and did and did for Philomena to the point of exhaustion and utter dependency of her mom on her. Diane in turn started neglecting her own health and compounded that with a lifelong smoking habit. Rail thin and a worry wart to boot naturally, Diane was stressed most of the time and more so after becoming a caregiver. On December 17, 2013 Diane was diagnosed with lung cancer. On January 15, 2014, less than a month later she died. Diane was my sister. “Did I ever tell you you’re my hero. You’re everything I wish I could be. And I I could fly higher than an eagle. When you are the wind beneath my wings.” My sister was the wind beneath my wings.

The sad fact is that 45% of caregivers have worsened health than the one they are caring for; and 60% of caregivers die before the one they are taking care of. 63% caregivers are at higher risk of death. I don’t want you to meet the fate that my sister met. Your health as a caregiver is of utmost importantance. In your caregiver journey you need to put yourself first. Your better health will allow you to remember to better care for your loved one.

Breathe in, Breathe out.

Today I want you to take stock of your health. How are you feeling – physically, emotionally? When is the last time you have been to the doctor? For now just take an inventory of where you are so you can then know where you need to be.  

You see I am not just some aging and caregiving expert. I am living this caregiver journey with you. Because Philomena is my mom and I am now her primary caregiver. She now lives near us in North Carolina. And yes I feel the stress and strain and know not only what my sister went through but what you might be going through as well. So we’ll get through it all together and come out as better people too. Embrace your caregiving journey by taking care of yourself.

Caregiving is hard. It can be easier and more fulfilling for you and the loved one you care for! You face major challenges at home and in the workplace—higher risk of major and minor health problems, higher risk of job loss or underemployment, higher risk of psychological stress, and even a higher risk of dying before the person you care for. It can be worse if you are a working caregiver.

According to a report issued by the National Alliance for Caregiving, almost three-quarters of family caregivers of people age 50 or older work while they are caring for a family member or friend, and nearly 70% of them make some kind of workplace accommodation—coming in late, leaving early, reducing work hours, taking a leave of absence, choosing early retirement.

According to two studies conducted by MetLife, the result is a potential average of $304,000 in lost wages, pension, and Social Security for the employee caregiver, and a loss of productivity for employers amounting to $17-34 billion dollars per year.

The estimated average additional health cost to employers is 8% more for those with eldercare responsibilities.

More companies need to get involved in ReAct, a coalition of corporations and organizations dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by employee caregivers and reducing the impact on the companies that employ them.

The coalition and its members are dedicated to increasing awareness, understanding and action around issues faced by employee caregivers.

Watch the first three videos here. Order here. Use code: Care50. I hope you enjoy these videos and that they uplift and inspire you and/or the person you give them to as well.


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