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What Caregiving Looks Like in a Crisis

John Schall

CEO, Caregiver Action Network

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. It’s a good thing family caregivers are tough because the global coronavirus pandemic has thrown us all into uncharted territory. During National Family Caregivers Month this November, we’re addressing the new caregiving challenges family caregivers face during these uncertain times.

Caregiving is one of the hardest jobs you can imagine and each caregiving situation comes with a lot of stress. The coronavirus pandemic has added another layer of stress as caregivers find themselves dealing with a new set of challenges. The pandemic has truly put caregiving in crisis.

Caregiving in crisis

Many caregivers rely on friends, family, or support groups to help them through tough times, and to fight the isolation so many caregivers feel. But due to COVID-19, many family caregivers don’t always have the help that they relied on in the past.

Teleheath has become the new reality for doctor visits. While video appointments are convenient and minimize your loved one’s chances of coronavirus exposure, they come with their own challenges, especially for those who are not tech savvy.

Caregiving is expensive; that’s nothing new. But with the economic downturn, family caregivers are on tighter budgets than ever. Many are facing the dual difficulties of caregiving while finding themselves on unemployment. It’s an unenviable position with no end in sight.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t want to grow old in their own home. The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be one of the most difficult you will ever face. With the coronavirus recently running rampant through nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, that decision has only become harder.

Caring for caregivers

Before the pandemic, family caregivers were already at higher risk for a host of physical and mental health conditions, such as depression. Now add COVID-19 to the list and the need to take precautions to avoid getting it. Being separated from the ones we love and care for during these scary times is trying for everyone, and we’re worse off because of it.

COVID-19 has forced us to re-calibrate just about everything. But like they always do, America’s family caregivers are adapting and bravely confronting the challenges of caregiving in crisis in these unprecedented times.

Now more than ever, we need to help family caregivers. When this is finally over, one thing will be certain: America’s family caregivers will still be lovingly providing care because this pandemic is temporary, but love is forever.

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