May 19, 2016 Caregiving News Roundup

Grab your coffee and get ready to hear the latest in the caregiving world. In the past month, we have come across countless great articles, blog posts, and news. We wanted to share a few of our favorites- articles that we identified with, learned from, or felt would be useful to you. This news round up has a theme targeted to “Caregivers”.

Perhaps It’s Time to Celebrate a Day in Honor of Caregivers. Here’s the argument for starting to celebrate “Caregivers Day” - sounds like a good idea to us! We can already think of a few worthy folks to celebrate.

Do All Caregivers Matter? Feylyn Lewis draws attention to a specific population of young adults, not to say that they are more important, but to point out that they have different needs and demands than older adults have. This article points out why this age group of caregivers is unique, while also stating that all caregivers are worthy of support. 

Health as a Family Affair was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The concept of illness should not focus solely on the patient, but needs to incorporate the whole family. Broadening the scope to include family members will target interventions to support all of the team members, which will also benefit the patient. We, family caregivers, are of no use if we aren’t healthy ourselves and aren’t getting the help that we need.

The 7 Deadly Emotions of Caregiving. Next Avenue provides a list and advice to cope with 7 common feelings that come with caring for another. Guilt being a pesky one: “Caregivers often burden themselves with a long list of self-imposed 'oughts,' 'shoulds' and 'musts.'” We agree, which is why we created our own “To Don’t List.”

Superheroes of Caregiving Need Better Support. Forbes reports on the superheroes of caregiving. Imagine a world where caregivers do not have to summon superhero powers to accomplish all that they do - we love this list! If only it were real... 

A few articles discuss technology in caregiving, an interesting and growing area of tech solutions. Parks Associates Study regarding technology usage among caregivers found, not surprisingly, that young caregivers are more likely to use apps and other connected healthcare solutions, yet still not as many as you might think. Forbes reports on the Winners Named in Shark Tank Style Caregiving Tech Competition sponsored by AARP.

Your elderly parent is home from the hospital. What happens next? Lastly, this article in The Washington Post describes the increasing research about supporting caregivers and their health; in particular, it discusses the studies performed by one of our admired researchers on this topic, Laurel Northouse, a professor emerita at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Northouse’s review of studies found that giving education and support to caregivers improves the physical and emotional well-being of cancer patients. It also decreases the emotional distress experienced by caregivers and improves their confidence in giving care. ‘Caregivers’ and patients’ well-being are interdependent,’ she says.