November is National Family Caregivers Month

More than 65 million people in the United States provide care for chronically ill, disabled or aged family, friends, neighbors or loved ones in any given year.

Those 65 million people, on average, spend 20 hours a week providing that care which is valued at approximately $375 billion a year. This figure is almost twice as much spent on homecare and nursing home services combined.

If you are among the 65 million unpaid family caregivers who are providing help to someone else (usually an aging parent) who needs help performing the daily tasks essential to leading a normal life, thinking you can do it alone can have potentially disastrous outcomes.

Caregiving affects every aspect of your life, from finances to housing to your own health. Many of these caregivers (daughters, sons, wives, husbands, nieces, nephews), don’t call what they are doing “caregiving” but they would rather say that “I’m just helping mom”. To many the word “caregiver” means a full-time or part-time nurse or home health care worker while they equate what they are doing to “simply helping out” or “doing what a good son or daughter would do”.

Although sons and daughters and others don’t receive financial rewards for what they are doing, the services they provide are significant. Also, projected statistics for 2030, indicate that one in every five people in the United States will be at least 65. While the number of older Americans will increase exponentially in the next 15-20 years, the number of paid home health care workers and geriatric specialists is declining and there will be millions more unpaid caregivers in the future.

According to a survey from Met Life, half of the caregivers in the United States are also holding full-time jobs and the cost of lost productivity to their employers is $33 billion annually. Statistics also show that less than a third of U.S. companies have instituted policies such as telecommuting and flextime aimed at helping their employee caregivers.

Kansas City Home Care (KCHC) recognizes the importance of family caregivers and the impact they have in caring for our older adults. Home care companies such as Kansas City Home Care can help provide a respite for family caregivers and allow their loved ones to remain in their own homes as long as possible. Our services assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence and feeding. We also assist with light housekeeping, running errands, transportation, giving medication reminders and checking vital signs.

Our qualified staff of Registered Nurses (R.N’s), Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s), and companion caregivers are here to help families as they face the ever growing challenges of caring for aging loved ones. KCHC celebrates and recognizes November as National Family Caregiving Month. Our staff supports family caregivers throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area and, when needed, provides additional assistance in caring for aging loved ones.

Sources: American Society on Aging, American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), MetLife Foundation.