Am I a Caregiver?
Do you care for a loved one who has a health condition or disability? If so, you might be a caregiver! Often people think that caregivers are only professionals. Rather, the long-term care system would fail without caregivers who provide care to important people in their lives!
Sometimes the word “caregiver” is miscommunicated. This could be because many people do not realize they are caregivers. For example, parents who have a child with a disability may not immediately identify as a caregiver because they assume it is their responsibility. There is also sometimes a negative connotation with the term “caregiver”. Many believe that this sounds like a one-sided relationship. However, this is not always the case, so some people prefer the word “care partner”.
Some caregivers are considered “compound caregivers” because they care for more than one person. An example of a compound caregiver is someone who cares for their elder parents and their adult child with a disability. If a compound caregiver cares for an older adult and has children at home, we call them part of the “sandwich generation.” This is a growing group of caregivers.
Compound caregiving can be extremely challenging with balancing the needs of their loved ones. Taking breaks can also be challenging, since care is for more than one person. Families may also look to those who already are caregivers to take on additional care duties.