Today, family caregivers provide about 80 percent of elder care. This includes lifting, bathing, delivering meals, taking loved ones to doctor’s visits, handling difficult behaviors and managing medications and family conflicts. But this level of care can result in lost work hours or lost jobs, high stress and serious declines in physical and mental health. In fact, 1 of 5 caregivers reports a decline in the quality of their physical, emotional and social well-being.
Palliative care can help. Read, listen and watch below, and explore our Caregiver Corner.
Caregiver Stories: Mary Tibbats
Mary Tibbats is a caregiver to her 88 year-old mother Mary Nolan, who has diabetes. After a rehab visit at the hospital to improve her blood flow, she went into congestive heart failure. Mary Tibbats shares how palliative care not only helped coordinate her mother’s care and improve her quality of life, but provided support to Mary as she dealt with caregiver burnout. We also hear from Dr. Leanne Yanni, a member of Mary’s palliative care team, on the role that it played in treating Mary and her mother in this compelling look at palliative care and caregiving.
Caregiver Stories: Gail Sheehy
Gail Sheehy has chronicled every major turning point for 20th-century Americans and most recently solidified expert status on family caregiving with her 2010 book, Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence. Gail knows firsthand the fears and frustrations faced by family caregivers. Her 17 years of experience as a caregiver for her husband inspired her new play, Chasing the Tiger, where she shares from the heart and brings to life her own struggles and victories in caregiving.
Together with the Center to Advance Palliative Care, Gail has created a video adaptation of Chasing the Tiger, showcasing the plays most poignant scenes to educate and inspire. Gail’s video shows how she and her husband discovered palliative care, enabling them to find joy while living with a serious illness.
Looking for caregiving resources? Check our Caregiver Help links.