(Family Features) Caregiving affects all generations, with more than 10 million unpaid caregivers in the United States between the ages of 18-39, according to research published by AARP. That’s 1 in 4 people nationwide who care for an older relative or friend. These young caregivers often take on the task alone, without the support of professionals, while juggling school and job responsibilities.
Millennial caregivers are not alone. The people they care for are sometimes eligible for a variety of social and health support services through private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Taking advantage of these services can help lessen the workload for caregivers by providing them with much needed assistance.
Consider these tips from Capital Caring Health, the mid-Atlantic’s largest nonprofit provider of hospice and at-home-care services, to help young caregivers cope:
- Don’t go at it alone. According to a poll by AARP, 80% of younger people are stressed about caregiving. There are organizations that offer services and resources to help handle the challenges that come with caregiving. Caregivers are encouraged to ask a friend or loved one for help to avoid burnout or feelings of resentment.
- Learn what services are covered by insurance. If unsure about anything related to a loved one’s insurance plan, the staff and volunteers at organizations like Capital Caring Health can explain free of charge what services are covered.
- Make a list of care preferences in advance. Ensure the wishes and values of the person receiving care are honored by sharing a list of preferences with all other family or medical team caregivers.
- Look after yourself. It’s difficult to be a good caregiver without maintaining physical and mental strength. Eat well, exercise and take time every day for enjoyable activities, like watching a movie or television show, reading a book or going to a trivia night.
Find more information at CapitalCaring.org, or call the 24-hour care line at 1-800-869-2136.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images