CARE GIVING CRISES
CAREGIVING- the word itself is self-explanatory. In lay man terms, it means taking care of people who are helpless and cannot work or help them, perhaps due to old age, illness or disability. Researchers have divided the care giving activities into two classes:
-ADLs are the activities of daily living like eating, bathing and changing clothes.
-IADLs are instrumental activities of daily living like shopping, preparing meals and other house chores.
Caregiving also covers some sort of medical care activities like assisting in giving oral medications, intravenous injections and taking care of minor wounds. All types of supportive activities help an individual to live with the help of another person.
The increase in demand of caregivers and decrease in supply is heading towards a crisis. As the life expectancy in America increases, it further demands more years of to be taken care of an old, presently we find shortage of both paid and unpaid caregivers. The professionalism in this field is decreasing. One main reason is the change in life styles and over burden on women to move out and earn, leaving the house and old members of the family unattended. In most families, the women are the family caregivers. Having few children is another trend followed; in the future, when the parents get old, they find fewer members around to take care of them. This short in availability of family caregivers transfers the burden on paid caregivers and increases their demand. On the other side, there is an increase demand of quality care by a professional, but the gap is increasing because many formal caregivers are underpaid and lack professional training.
WE CARE FOR THE OLD- A number of government agencies, nursing homes and other home care service providers have joined hands and work in collaboration in the interest of taking care of old and disable people.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) train people for support services, counseling and other direct services needed by the family caregivers in taking care of old people and grandparents or taking care of children.
Elder Care Locator established by U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA), provides information regarding agencies and other organization that provide care-giving services in a locality. Anyone can contact them for information, they work for the benefit of old and their goal is to make older adults live independently in the community.
National Alliance for Care giving (NAC), work to increase the awareness and importance of care required by the old. They conduct surveys, researches and public awareness programs for family caregivers.
Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) provides training, information and education to the interested in the field of care-giving. They conduct seminars and conference to keep people updated about the present situations and demands.