Caregivers: No Need to Stress

Resources and Support Groups to Help Families Manage Stress
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According to a recent survey, released by Sunrise Senior Living today, nearly four in 10 American caregivers say they are likely to feel stressed about coordinating their older loved one's care during the holiday season. In addition, more than a third reports that they are likely to feel stressed around the holidays about expenses related to this care.  Sunrise knows that memory loss may also present challenges for older adults and their loved ones during the holidays.

Sunrise commissioned the national omnibus online survey by GfK Custom Research to raise awareness for the stressors faced by older Americans and their families during the holiday season, including individuals dealing with memory loss. To help families care for the growing number of elderly Americans, Sunrise offers resources, including tips for caregivers, helpful guides on caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, and updates on the latest Alzheimer's and dementia research. Sunrise communities also invite the public to attend Resources to Remember events, November 3 – 9, aimed at educating and assisting those who care for seniors with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

While nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of the caregivers surveyed said the holidays are likely to bring positive memories and feelings to their loved ones, an equal proportion (74 percent) predict the holidays will also be a time of stress for their loved one related to concerns about health and well-being.

"For most of us, the holidays are full of joy, tradition and celebrations with family and friends," said Rita Altman, vice president of Memory Care and Program Services at Sunrise. "But they can also bring high levels of stress – especially for older adults with memory loss and their family members. There are various ways families can try to minimize stress during the holidays, and one of the best gifts you can give your loved one is to listen with full attention and empathy, which demonstrates just how much you honor and respect them. Your time and attention are the most important gifts you can give."

Four in 10 caregivers surveyed say they are likely to feel the need for extra support caring for their loved one over the holidays.  Among the "sandwich generation" – people aged 35-49 years old who often have children and parents to care for – more than half said they are likely to feel the need for extra support. More than one third (35 percent) of caregivers feel concerned about having difficult conversations about their loved one's care needs during the holiday season.

"Caregiving is not a solo job; it truly takes a village to care for an aging loved one," said Nancy King, senior vice president of Resident Care at Sunrise. "Support groups and respite stays can benefit those feeling stressed about caring for a loved one. Sunrise is committed to not only providing support and resources for family members of residents, but also to the community at large."

One in four Americans surveyed report that they have an adult loved one in their life who regularly needs help with daily tasks or someone to check in on them. The nationally representative survey of 1,023 American adults was conducted September 20-22, 2013. It has a margin of error of three percentage points.

To find a Sunrise community near you to attend a free support group or event or learn more about Sunrise's memory care services, click here. For more information about Sunrise's leading approach to memory care, visit the memory care resources section of Sunrise's website.