This post is part of a Thrifty Mom Media influencer outreach project. This post has been sponsored by EMD Serono, which means I have been compensated. My opinion is all my own and it is also truthful.
Do you know someone in an unpaid caregiver role right now? It’s a good chance you do and that person may even be you. Recent statistics show that there are more women caregivers than men across the globe.
Are you one of the many unpaid caregivers around the world?
Have you ever put your health and well-being at the bottom of the to-do list?
Are you busy helping others, so much so, that you don’t have time to get your own needs met?
Is your career suffering because you are caring for a friend or relative with a health impairment or disease?
Are you losing sleep?
Have you suffered from depression?
Do you have financial struggles caused by being a carer?
If you can answer yes to any of those questions, you are not alone. Playing a role as a caregiver can cause stress and strain even on the strongest of caregivers. Since more women than men take on this role the act of caregiving often creates a bigger burden on them and on women’s health.
More than 55 % of unpaid caregivers feel that their physical health has suffered
as a result of their carer duties.
Over 1 in 5 unpaid carers feel their careers have been negatively affected by
their role as a caregiver.
42 % of unpaid carers put health of the person they are caring for above their
Nearly half (47 %) of unpaid carers have feelings of depression, with 57 %
feeling they needed medical care/ support for a mental health condition
(depression, anxiety, stress) due to their role as an unpaid carer or caregiver. Of
these, 25 % have not sought medical help.
30 % of carers feel that their role as a carer has put pressure on their financial
Do any of these statistics pertaining to caregivers surprise you?
They don’t surprise me. Being a woman and an unpaid caregiver are two things I know really well. For many years, I’ve assisted in the aid and caring of my grandmother. We spent many hours together as I fulfilled the roles of chauffeur, personal shopper, concierge and financial adviser. As my grandmother has continued to age and become less mobile, my role as her caregiver has lessened, but I still take part in her care. The time we spend together is precious to me, but the strains and stresses can be challenging. My own personal health and well-being has suffered as a result of juggling the roles of unpaid caregiver, wife, mother, and full-time employee all at the same time.
How to Embrace and Support Unpaid Caregivers
I’m excited to share what I have learned about the Embracing Carers Initiative by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operating as EMD Serono in the US and Canada. Embracing Carers is a global initiative that seeks to raise awareness of caregiver stresses by highlighting the unmet needs of caregivers on a global and local level. The main goal is to empower caregivers to advocate for their own health and well-being.
Please join me in encouraging caregivers (that includes you) to seek support, give support to fellow carers and raise awareness so the needs of the carer don’t continue to go unmet.
A few simple ways to show your support are to share this blog post, spread messages of hope to caregivers in a global outreach using the hashtag #CareforaCarer. When you see the hashtag on Twitter be sure to take a minute to hit the Retweet button and share your support.
Saturday 25th of November 2017
Thank you Nancy! All that you shared is so true! The guilt is such a hard emotion to work through. Hopefully more people will realize the turmoil and rewards that carers go through and uplift and support them in any way they can. Have a blessed day! Best, Michele
Saturday 25th of November 2017
Thanks for addressing this, Michele.
I find caregiving filled with many emotions. I give my time and help out of love and compassion; feel guilt when I cannot do more; and sometimes feel resentment that I have so little time for what I need. Time, money, health, sleep- they're all compromised in the process of care-taking.
But there are blessings, too, in helping someone who cannot do for themselves. You see it in the eyes of those you care for- that sense of restored dignity, hope, and gratitude. In the blink of an eye, we could be that person who needs such care, and is so grateful to know we have someone to help.
Giving of yourself is an amazing thing. It has a loving effect on the one you give to; it also has a positive effect on your own life, knowing you've been able to make a real difference in someone's life, and it even has an inspirational effect on those who witness your loving kindness to another person. Nancy P, Lakewood, NJ