Caregiver Challenges: Addressing Caregiver Stress
Addressing caregiver challenges is a new frontier as our congregations or their parents age. Watch the video below to understand the new stage of life called "caregiving" and what congregations can do to meet the needs.
Be patient, the sound quality for the introduction is very poor, but the insights that Rabbi Richard addresses are important and apply to any faith community.
"The first group of Baby Boomers turns 65 in 2011. It is the beginning of an aging wave being called "the silver tsunami." In fact, the number of Americans 65 and older will double between 2010 and 2050, and the number of those at least 85 will increase fourfold."
Recognizing the Caregiver Challenges
Look around your own congregation. Can you estimate the number of families that are quietly struggling with caregiver stress? How many have talked about flying off to Seattle to see their mom for the third time in 2 months? How many have confessed to losing complete touch with friends and their social network because all free time is spent driving to Wisconsin to check on their parents in the nursing home and the house that now sits empty? How many look exhausted as their dad has had multiple hospitalizations in a short time, and things just keep getting worse?
Has anyone come to you for: recommendation of an affordable caregiver? a place for help with meals? making a complex medical decision? sharing fears of losing their job because of taking so much time off from work? How many represent the "club sandwich" generation - grandchildren caring for grandparents and their own children or grandchildren at the same time?
Is there a place in your congregation for creating- Support Groups ("like talking to like")
Caregiver Education Workshops
Health care discussion groups
Senior Housing Fair
Hourly Respite Care
Errand Teams - like shopping or meals
Personal Assitants - caregiver organizational help
Patient Care Advocates - help in navigating and translating the healthcare maze
From Caregiver Challenges to Senior Adult Ministries