AARP presented a study that was conducted to see how caregivers were doing after caregiving for a period of six months or longer. What the study proved was that about 30% of the caregivers analyzed said their lives had changed – either for the better or for the worse (about 20% in either direction). The balance of those interviewed said their lives were the same as before they began being a caregiver.
The people that reported that their life was worse because they became a caregiver stated the changes as such:
- Happiness (20%)
- Satisfaction with social life (20%)
- Weight (22%) and,
- Exercise routine (22%)
While many governmental organizations do not want religion to enter into the scene, 51% of caretakers claim that they cope with the difficulties of caregiving through prayer or through their partner. While females rely on an inner circle of friends, siblings, their children and even medical professionals for support, many caregivers still identify few sources of support.
Other mixed emotions were recorded, such as:
- 82% were “pleased they could help someone”
- 68% also “wished things were different”
- 62% were “satisfied”
- 52% were “proud to be a caregiver”
- 51% often “feel sorry for the person they help”
- 44% are “afraid about what might happen”
- 38% “feel other people should help them more”
The study was conducted utilizing GfK Custom Research (Knowledge Networks Knowledge Panel). They surveyed 1,036 caregivers between the ages of 40 and 60 years old. The study was done in May and June of 2013.
So, how do I feel? I feel wonderful being able to help others. I am certainly proud of my business and the service it provides but I do feel bad for seniors for many reasons and do wish more family members would take an active role in their elder’s life. But hey, that is why I believe that With Age Comes Respect – right?