Care Partner Resources
Aubrey here…as a care partner, I’m well aware of how tough this dialysis life can be—not just on our husbands, but on us, too. All too often those of us who find ourselves in the role of care partner (or caregiver for those who prefer that term) focus so much on keeping our loved one alive that we forget to take care of ourselves in the process.
According to caregiver.org, approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to a child or adult in the past 12 months.
The AARP Policy Institute estimates that in 2013 the value of services performed by unpaid caregivers was a whopping $470 billion.
More than 75% of caregivers are female (although males have been shouldering more of the care in recent years).
Family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care for their loved one. Those caring for a spouse/partner spend 44.6 hours per week on average performing caregiving tasks.
Looking at those statistics, it’s easy to see why so many care partners experience burnout, fatigue, and poor health of their own. That being said, you can’t help the person you love if you’re not taking care of yourself, too. It’s a hard lesson to learn (and an even harder one to put into practice), but you have to take care of you, too.
I’m honestly still learning how to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, but here are some resources that have helped me take better care of myself so that I can be there for Phillip when he needs me.
Take Care of the Caregiver – A Facebook support group made up mostly of wives and girlfriends of men with kidney disease, but others are welcome.
Caregiver Wellness – Resources from Caring.com