Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Aging America Turns Relatives Into Caregivers

With the population aging — by 2030, the number of people age 65 and older is expected to be twice what it was in 2000 — family members and friends increasingly find themselves in caregiver roles in Morris County and across the state and nation.

November is National Caregivers Month -- Good Time to Help Out a Caregiver in Morris County November is National Caregivers Month -- Good Time to Help Out a Caregiver in Morris County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s estimated that 34.2 million residents provide unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older, according to a 2015 study conducted by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving. (Another 9.3 million took care of a child.) More than 1 million New Jersey residents are caregivers.

While caring for a loved one can be fulfilling, it also can take a toll physically and emotionally. Too often, caregivers devote themselves to loved ones while ignoring their own needs. During National Family Caregivers Month, caregivers are encouraged to mind their own well-being.

Tips for Caregivers:

  • Get regular medical checkups and monitor your health the way you are monitoring your loved ones.
  • Accept offers of help.
  • Join a support group to socialize with other caregivers and learn from one another. The United Way of Northern New Jersey runs a Caregivers Coalition, with monthly meetings in Morris County, and neighboring Essex, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties.
  • Eat sensibly and make time for exercise (walking is a great option).
  • Look for signs of depression, and seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed.

Ways to Support Caregivers:

  • Prepare a special meal that will provide delicious leftovers.
  • Offer to fill in for a few hours.
  • Plan an outing with them and arrange for someone trustworthy to provide care.
  • Watch for signs of depression and recommend professional help if needed.

In Morris County, you can reach out to the Caregiver Support Project (800.564.4656) which is an initiative of the Morris County Division on Aging, Disabilities and Community Programming in partnership with United Way of Morris County and the Caregivers Coalition of Morris County.Morris County government seal

The Caregiver Support Project is designed to help caregivers access the services needed for their loved ones and themselves.  Resources can be found in the Caregiver Resource Directory.The Project goes beyond information and referral to help the caregiver with problem solving, advocacy, and support to sustain them in their caregiving role.

The assistance of the Caregiver Coordinator can be accessed by calling the Aging and Disability Resource Connection number: 1-800-564-4656 or by visiting the Aging, Disabilities and Veterans office.

NewBridge Services provides support through its counseling services. For help, visit NewBridge at newbridge.org or call (973) 316-9333.  NewBridge is a provider of counseling services, housing and educational programs in northern New Jersey serving 10,000 adults and seniors last year.