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Adult Caregivers Under-trained, Overwhelmed, Says Poll

Adults in the United States who are providing long-term care for aging relatives and friends have little training for their stressful roles.

Photo of Charlene Margot
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I read this article in the SF Chronicle this morning, and I found it very relevant to this Challenge. According to the article: 

"Adults in the United States who are providing long-term care for aging relatives and friends have little training for their stressful roles, but plenty of commitment, according to a poll.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey finds that caregivers don’t just give rides to the doctor and go shopping. Nearly half provide some kind of medical care, from changing bandages (30 percent) to inserting catheters or feeding tubes (6 percent).

Only 47 percent of those say they got most or all of the training needed for their often delicate tasks.

Despite all the challenges, more than 9 in 10 call their care-giving experience worthwhile, even if they also find it stressful (77 percent), and overwhelming (52 percent)."

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

I think some kind of training for family caregivers would make the experience much more manageable. So often, parents shift quickly from able-bodied to needing regular care, whether as a result of a fall, illness, death of a spouse, etc. I find the article's main point to be very poignant: although caretaking is stressful, caregivers still find the experience worthwhile - "A labor of love."

Tell us about your work experience:

I'm a small business owner with work experience in education (parent/community) and design (interior). I've been an entrepreneur for 35+ years, just about to start a new business, The Parent Venture!


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Photo of Brittany Margot

Thanks for posting to the challenge! This is a really interesting article. What sort of trainings might be helpful for caregivers of dementia?

Photo of Charlene Margot

As a family member, I would suggest community-based training, easily accessible, and (hopefully) free of cost. Perhaps hosted at a local school, medical facility, library, church, or other public location? Alternatively, online social media like NextDoor would be an excellent way to organize training for caregivers. Neighbors could identify caregiving needs (dementia, stroke, etc), possible local training spaces, shared experiences, etc.

Photo of Susan

Yes, and I had also posted the same article via an online link. Having been a caregiver myself, I know that training is essential. I have provided both online webinars, as well as live workshops to family caregivers.

I wonder how the issues of reaching people, providing them respite so they can attend, and making the workshops either free or affordable might be addressed? I have a few ideas, but am interested in hearing those of others.

Also, how to make sure the content is in line with best practice and that the facilitators know what they're talking about?

I have a free webinar you might find interesting; it's here:

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