Caregivers Often Need Someone To Care After Them As Well
Posted June 19, 2001 4:57 a.m. EDT
CARY — On average, most women spend about 17 years of their lives caring for children, but did you know that women also spend about 18 years of their lives caring for an elderly parent or a spouse?
At 99 years old, Ismay Carter can still play the piano. While her fingers glide effortlessly across the keys, she still needs the help of her 77-year-old daughter, Honore McHugh, to do other things.
"She's just been wonderful about helping me in every way. She helps me get the groceries, of course, shopping or whatever I have to do," Ismay says.
McHugh also cares for her 94-year-old aunt.
"Sometimes, I think it's too much responsibility, you know. I'm a busy person, I haven't got too much time to feel sorry for myself really," she says.
The Cary Senior Center is trying to support families in caregiving situations. Linda Kendall started a support group for caregivers, which McHugh attends. Kendall also helps them find ways to take time off.
"They become overwhelmed with all the work. They're focused so much on their loved one and the care they have to provide they're getting worn out and they need a break," Kendall says.
Besides time, the biggest obstacle facing caregivers is money. There are some government-subsidized programs which offer respite care. Adult day care is often the most affordable option for working families on a budget.