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At some point in your life, chances are you will find yourself in the role of caregiver or you’ll be a member of a support network for someone who is caregiving. Caregivers often don’t think of themselves as caregivers, but if you’re taking time away from other activities to provide care to someone, then you ARE a caregiver.
A growing number of Americans are providing care for aging parents, other family members or close friends. Others are caring for partners or children with special needs. More than 40 million people in this country are working at a job while also caregiving. And although caregiving can be rewarding in its own right, most caregivers are providing care without being financially compensated for their time or contributions.
For caregivers, seeking and finding reliable information and support is critical. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from others. And don’t forget to take care of yourself and your own health. (Caregivers are at increased risk of serious health problems including heart disease, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes and more.)
Here are some links to resources that can help in coping with the complexities of caregiving:
AARP Caregiving Resource Center
This comprehensive site offers help and advice to caregivers in just about any area they may need it. Topics range from insurance coverage and financial planning to legal considerations and end of life care.
Caregiver Action Network (CAN)
The Caregiver Action Network is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers. The site provides information for all types of caregivers including those who care for aging loved ones, children with special needs or adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease.
Get Healthy, Stay Healthy: Caregiving
Information, personal perspectives, and resources from Pfizer Medical professionals.
National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)
NAC is a non-profit coalition of organizations focused on improving the lives of family caregivers. The NAC Resources section includes self-assessments and other tools, with special sections devoted to Caregiver Health and Military Families.
ReACT – Respect a Caregiver’s Time
ReACT is a coalition of more than 40 companies (including Pfizer) and non-profit organizations dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by employee caregivers and reducing the impact on the companies that employ them. The ReACT website offers useful tools and information for employers and employees alike.