Among the challenges of caring for a loved one: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, Amy Goyer, a national family and caregiving expert at AARP, said Thursday on the Today show. “It’s unique for everyone,” she said. “It’s a really tricky situation.”
Goyer recommends that people who are thrust into a caregiving role start by assessing their loved one’s physical and emotional needs. And she urged them to ask for help. “Build your team with family, friends, volunteers, but also organizations,” she said, recommending that caregivers contact their local Area Agency on Aging to see what support programs may be available.
She also advised caregivers to continue working as long as possible — in part to maintain a sense of identity and fulfillment but also to offset caregiving expenses, which on average take up 26 percent of caregivers’ income. A financial adviser may be able to help create a sustainable plan for the extra expenses, though Goyer also pointed to AARP’s financial workbooks for family and veteran caregivers.
She also highlighted a recent caregiving package in the AARP Bulletin that featured personal accounts from several family caregivers, a piece focused on the unique challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia and a message from AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins about fixing America’s long-term care system.
Watch Goyer’s segment, and learn about how we’re fighting for all family caregivers.
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