Dr. Barbara Huggins

Care for the Caregiver

December 7, 2006

Care for the Caregiver -  December 7, 2006One of the most demanding roles that any of us can play is that of caregiver to some one we love. Dr. Mom tells the story of one family that has learned the secret of keeping it all in the family.

According to the Administration on Aging, more than 22.4 million persons are informal caregivers. These caregivers are spouses, adult children, and other relatives and friends that give care to loved ones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Caregiving can be a lonely and overwhelming task. Caregivers may experience many different emotions within a short period of time. These emotions range from fear, rage, grief, sadness, hope, and fatigue to dedication and love. With all the varying emotional and physical aspects of giving care to your loved one, it comes as no surprise that many caregivers experience burnout.

Caregivers oftentimes become so involved in the day-to-day efforts to keep things going they may fail to realize that they need a break from their daily responsibilities.

Some activities that may give a caregiver may include in their daily activities are:

The National Family Caregiver Support Program established in 2000, calls for all states working in partnership with area agencies on aging and local community-service providers to have five basic services for family caregivers.

These services include:

The American Red Cross has developed a Family Caregiver Program, a nine session educational program for family caregivers. As part of the program, they have produced individual booklets on the subject area of each module as well as a video.

The sessions include:
You may contact the Smith County Red Cross:
  • 320 E. Rieck Road
    PO Box 8588
    Tyler, Texas 75711
    (903) 581-7981
More resources include:

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.