Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Heavy toll" on millions of unpaid caregivers - USATODAY.com

The story focuses on Alzheimer's, which is just one of many home care intensive conditions families face. Not to mention the longer life spans that bring all the general care needs of an aging population.

I have two disabled/special needs family members. My day began at 5 a.m. with noise from the autistic teenager's room. I went out into the hall to find his bathroom light on, and saw clothes in a pile on the tile floor. Went to pick them up and slipped on a pool of urine - he's taken off his night time Depends and spilled the contents all over, which my 5 a.m. eyes didn't detect. So I got to start the day with a fall and a swim in piss.

Typical stuff for care givers. From the article:

"'The toll on families is devastating,' says the association's Beth Kallmyer, senior director of constituent services. 'Stress is extremely high, and one-third are experiencing depression'...

Keri Roaten, 22, of Corinth, Miss., cared for her grandmother Eavie for five years at home and now visits her regularly in a nursing home. 'I did everything from bathing her to keeping her from roaming around, to feeding her. I took care of the bills, grocery shopping — everything she had been doing. I was still in high school,' says Roaten, who also oversees all of her grandmother's medical needs. She gave up cheerleading and a college opportunity, but says she does not regret it.

Never during all of those years of medical appointments has a physician offered caregiving support resources or help for her, she adds."

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