According to the Roselyn Carter Institute, more than 40 million Americans provide care for adults and children who cannot care for themselves. Whether helping an aging parent, a seriously ill spouse or child or some other special person in need, those giving care often do so at a great personal sacrifice of time, energy and income. The emotional stress can be tremendous,too. Yet it is not just the family caregiver who is often overwhelmed. Many healthcare professionals today face enormous challenges trying to cope with an unwieldy patient load in an increasingly strained health care system.
Generally, family members do not categorize themselves as “caregivers” - they are simply doing what any devoted daughter, son, or spouse would do for a loved one. Consequently, they don’t seek out vital help and respite. The reality is that often family members serve as constant caregivers and provide 80% of the care for older adults and people with disabilities in Virginia. Though not always, the typical family caregiver is a woman between age 35 and 60, often caught up in traditional life functions such as raising children and working full or part-time. When that person finds themselves filling the concurrent role of caregiver for a family member with health issues, the excess burden brings on stressors that impact their own health, relationships, and financial and work status. Aging Together, through our vision of making our communities age friendly, recognizes the necessity of finding resources that support caregivers, both professional and family members. Our goal is to update this website consistently and to offer programs, resources, and respite that reduces the burden of caregiving for everyone. Please check in regularly and contact us if you have questions or need additional help.