Caregivers Play a Crucial Role in Society and Healthcare
Family caregiving is the foundation on which the country's healthcare system has grown dependant on. Caregivers' services constitute 80% of the overall home care happening in the US. It has conservatively been calculated that every year this population in health care will spend $257 billion. This is two times of what paid home care and nursing homes costs add together.
Caregivers are also a true pillar for those who need the care, as they are great emotional support, provide financial aid, social companionship, do homemaking tasks, and countless other services every day or whenever they are needed.
Who exactly is a Caregiver? How important has this population become nowadays?
1. A caregiver is a provider: It is someone who provides help for different tasks in hand towards someone who needs it. Sometimes a caregiver will be there 24 hours to care for someone who cannot eat, get dressed, use the bathroom, or maybe even think for himself.
2. A caregiver's job has no specific schedule or time projection. A caregiver can be active for a year, two years, or even a lifetime. It is a person who has to re-evaluate their life, handle changes in finances, compromises, and even learn to let go of job opportunities.
3. A caregiver has to learn how to communicate with doctors to earn the respect as an important asset in the healthcare team who is caring for a love one.
4. Caregivers have to deal with hard news such as a diagnosis of a loved one and still be strong enough to care for them and give them all the love and support they need.
5. A caregiver has to quickly learn about how to use medical supplies such as wheelchairs, lifts and other gadgets that will be crucial to handling a patient who has restricted mobility.
6. A caregiver will find him or herself asking at times, why no one asks them how they are or how they feel and even wanting to be alone for an hour or two to regain strength and peace of mind.
7. Caregivers will usually have to become experts in Medicare or other insurance programs.
8. A caregiver learns about the wishes of their loved one as to how they want to pass away with dignity and makes sure that those wishes are honored.
9. A caregiver will rejoice over a smile of sick loved one thanking them for making everything better even when inside they are tired from the stress caregiving involves.
Caregivers are all of the above and so much more. A caregiver basically performs one of the hardest jobs you can find. A job that will make you feel pain at times yet pain that will be washed away by love and compassion. Caregivers accept and learn new things and must adapt to change fast. In the end, caregiving is a dignified job that although it might change someone's life drastically, it will fill their hearts with joy to be able to change for the good of another person's well being and dignity.
Some will a call them angels, blessings, heroes and more but regardless of that, we just want to say KUDOS to all caregivers around the world!