Remember Caregivers On International Womens Day
On International Womens Day we remember those women who have made history or contributed to our communities. From innovators like Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride to Activists like Ida B. Wells, we honor those women who have helped advance our society. They endured hardship, sexism and sacrifice to achieve great things.
But there is a growing group of women in the United States who don’t get the honors an accolades despite making great person sacrifice. They are the women who are struggling with the thankless job of caregiver.
Women As Caregivers
According to an article in Forbes, 15.5 million caregivers log over 17.7 billion hours of unpaid work every year valued at $220 billion. Most of those caregivers are women who often juggle families and careers while punching the caregiver clock every day.
Over the last 25 years spent as an Elder Advocate and Elder Care Coordinator, I have heard countless women tell stories about putting their own lives on hold, often sacrificing family and professional relationships to take care of a frail elder. Others try to do it all only to have their own health effected by the stress and demands of care giving.
In a society that is moving from the traditional to newly defined gender roles, care giving seems to be stuck in the past. According to a 2015 collaborative report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, over 60% of caregivers are women. The average caregiver spends 24.4 hours a week taking care of a frail elder. About one quarter of caregivers spend over 40 hours a week taking care of an elder.
Caregiver stress is a major factor in the health of caregivers. It leads to obesity, depression and anxiety, and increases the risk for chronic illness. Caregiver stress can also cause problems with short term memory and weaken the immune system.
On International Womens Day it is important to remember those women who work as caregivers for their families. They do so at great cost to their careers, families and health. Senior Care Sherpa honors those women today.
READ RELATED: Support Is Key To Avoiding Caregiver Stress
If you know of a women suffering from caregiver stress, Senior Care Sherpa may be able to help. Our team of Senior Care experts can develop a Senior Care Plan and coordinate services to help caregivers juggling the responsibilities career and family. A solid senior care plan backed by the support of our team of industry experts can help relieve caregiver stress. Please fill out the contact form below and our one of our Senior Care Sherpas will work with you to developed a plan that works for your unique care giving situation.