by | Feb 20, 2023 | Caregiving

Are You A Self-Identified Caregiver?

In the past month, the issue of people who don’t self-identify as a caregiver has come up multiple times. Yesterday’s experience was really powerful and, as I was going through it with someone, I realized how important it is to raise this to our level of awareness.

What does self-identify mean?

There are many people who are non-professional caregivers who don’t see what they’re doing as that of a caregiver.

Why does this matter?

They’re going through challenges of caregiving without considering support for themselves, without recognizing their care receiver may need additional professional support, without alerting family members who can also provide support, and sometimes not realizing how much support someone actually needs.

I live in Florida where there are many seasonal residents. I was having breakfast with a good friend who was talking about helping out one of his buddies. His buddy doesn’t have family where we live and is having some ‘issues’. My friend then talked about heading back up North at the beginning of May. I asked him who was going to be his buddy’s caregiver when he left. He asked me what I meant.

I reminded him he’d told me he takes his buddy to his doctor appointments, created a spreadsheet to help him remember to pay his bills, programmed his phone to make calls more easily, and he checks in on his buddy almost every day, explaining he worries about him. He replied: “Of course, that’s what friends do.” I didn’t say anything. I watched his face as the realization came across it that he was the caregiver for his buddy.

While some people become caregivers instantly when there’s an event or diagnosis, Some people become caregivers so gradually they don’t recognize they are.

It’s important to identify if you’re a caregiver so you can make sure both you and your care receiver are getting the support that’s helpful for you.

Here are just a few questions to ask to help you:
Do you provide care for anyone diagnosed with an illness or disability?

Are you providing any types of the following care for a family member or loved one:
•Checking-in with someone about how they’re managing their activities of daily living related to personal care
•Cooking, preparing meals, shopping for groceries
•Managing their medications, finances, or appointments
•Making appointments for care with doctors
•Communicating with healthcare professionals
•Using your personal, sick time, or flex hours to care for someone else?

How many hours a day/week/month are you providing care for one or more family members or loved ones?

If you find you are a caregiver for someone, now you can take the next steps for your own care as well as theirs.

If you’re not sure or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re all on this journey together!

#caregivers #caregiversupport #sueryansolutions#selfcare #selfcaretips


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