The role of family caregiver is always, at its heart, a deeply important undertaking with its own set of joys and challenges. With the coronavirus adding to our collective stress and fear, the burden on already heavily relied upon family caregivers can be exceptionally overwhelming. Identifying some of the more specific ways COVID-19 has complicated the role of the family caregiver can be helpful for understanding how to support those fulfilling this important responsibility at this time.
Some potential new stressors to consider that may be impacting family caregivers at this time:
Lack of Social Contact
Spending months socially distanced from each other has taken an undeniable toll on our mental and emotional health. The Center for Healthcare Strategies, Inc. notes in this blog post that adults fulfilling the role of family caregiver frequently find themselves in more isolated living situations than younger adults, compounding the pressures of caregiving as they lose the support they once had around them.
As access to certain medical facilities and resources has been limited at times, the family caregiver has been asked to take on more clinical and medical responsibilities than they may normally be accustomed to. Acquiring the knowledge and confidence to perform these tasks can be difficult initially.
Adjusting to New Technology
The expanded use of telehealth services at this time may be new and overwhelming for family caregivers less familiar with elements of this technology. Additional assistance may be needed for caregivers to feel more comfortable communicating with healthcare providers by these methods.
Navigating Visits to Medical Facilities
Many doctor’s offices and health care facilities request that patients arrive alone to reduce the chances of coronavirus exposure. This has reduced the ability of the family caregiver to be actively involved in these communications, potentially adding to the stress of the caregiver.
As unemployment rates have climbed, many family caregivers may find themselves out of work and suffering increased financial burdens. Finding the financial resources to provide for older adults can be difficult at a time when jobs are scarce, the cost of caregiving is rising, and the family caregiver’s energy has been diverted to staying afloat financially.
Fear of Contracting the Virus
Family caregivers may find themselves in a demographic more susceptible to contracting the virus. Navigating the care and protection of older adults while ensuring their own health and protection from the virus can present additional challenges.
Recognizing the unique set of stressors that accompany this difficult time is important for finding new tactics and solutions for approaching our current scenario. eFamilyCare is ready to support family caregivers through this process, by:
- Assisting caregivers in navigating new technology.
- Offering guidance and information to support family caregivers through the addition of new caregiving responsibilities.
- Providing family caregivers with the information necessary for ensuring safe doctor’s office visits.
- Helping family caregivers find the expanded Medicaid and state benefits that are available for them at this time.
We know the coronavirus has presented new and unexpected obstacles for us all. Let eFamilyCare help you today.