Everyone requires assistance from time to time, and while most caregiving is done in support of an older adult, it can also affect a parent, spouse, friend, or child with special needs. While many seniors rely on friends and family for support as they age, there may be times when more assistance or long-term care is required.

On average, African American caregivers are 47.7 years old. It can be challenging to look beyond one’s own circumstances when caring for someone who is unwell or incapacitated. Nonetheless, whether related or not, family caregivers play an essential role in the health, social, economic, and long-term services and support (LTSS) systems in the United States. As the country ages, supporting caregivers as essential members of society will be more important than ever.

Today, more than one in every five Americans, or 21.3%, are caregivers. Roughly half of African American caregivers say they were forced into the role, yet the vast majority (especially compared to caregivers of other races) say they find their work meaningful.


Spouses, partners, adult children, parents, other relatives (siblings, aunts, nieces, nephews, in-laws, grandchildren), friends, and neighbors can all be caregivers. Whatever your relationship is with the person you’re caring for, it’s critical that you add “caregiver” to your list of responsibilities. You won’t know where to go for services to help you manage your new position until you identify yourself as a caregiver.

Burnout in caregivers is a dangerous disorder that can be followed by worry, depression, and even physical illness. If you suspect you are suffering from caregiver burnout, seek medical attention or therapy as soon as possible. Do not be afraid to seek assistance from others. There are various methods to seek help, ranging from therapists who specialize in assisting caregivers to friends and family.

Human connection and interaction benefit both caregivers and patients. Checking in regularly can provide an outlet for caregivers who are lonely or alone. Stopping by with a meal, a board game, a book, or an offer to help with housework or other chores can give overworked caregivers a much-needed break. A small gesture such as a cooked meal or a helping hand can sometimes alleviate the stress of a caretaker.


Even though giving care is often unexpected, it is usually needed in the later stages of life. This can cause problems between the person providing care and the person receiving care. One of the most common problems between the person giving care and the person receiving care is their different views and expectations of care. Most of the time, these views are about how much care is needed, what kind of care is needed, and how good the care needs to be. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to get the results people want. These problems arise in the early stages of caregiving when important decisions are made on the recipient’s behalf.

Any potential caregiver would be wise to start planning for that position as soon as possible. For various people, planning ahead implies different things. Some scenarios require detailed planning, while others may only require the bare essentials. Here are a few pointers to get you started on your planning.

● Discuss with your parents their future care needs, money, and the type of care they can afford.
● Make a plan with other family members to share caregiving responsibilities.
● Consider purchasing long-term care insurance for both your parents and yourself.
● Consult a financial advisor to create precise objectives.
● Begin thinking about your own retirement years.
● Discuss your care preferences with your children.

It’s terrible enough to watch your parents become fragile and ill without having to balance a job, family, and finances. You can be better equipped to tackle these obstacles with a bit of forethought. There is no better time than the present to start thinking about the future.


Research shows that many patients and physicians want to discuss healthcare costs. However, these conversations often do not occur.

When specifically referring to care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, a number of financial resources may be available to help cover the costs of care. Some may apply now, and others in the future.
● Insurance
● Personal assets
● Employee benefits
● Government assistance
● Retirement benefits
● Community support services
Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a Medicare and Medicaid initiative to keep frail seniors out of nursing homes. PACE involves a team of healthcare specialists collaborating with you and your family to ensure you receive the coordinated care you require. Typically, they care for a limited number of patients, so they get to know you well.


Long-term care services assist seniors in safely aging at home or in nursing homes. Long-term care services occur in various formats because everyone’s demands, budgets, and lifestyles differ.

According to the National Institute on Aging, there are four categories of long-term care facilities:

● Assisted living facilities
● Nursing homes with specialized care
● Boarding and care homes
● Retirement communities that provide long-term care
● Of course, providing care for the elderly at home is the fifth alternative