Family Caregivers Part I: “I Feel Good That I’m Able To Help”
Written by Melissa Galvez
They take on several unpaid jobs they never applied for — chauffeur, financial adviser, personal care attendant, nurse. They spend hours in relatives’ homes and at doctors’ offices. Caregivers often report real satisfaction in knowing that Dad is eating right or that Grandma has her medicine. But they also report high levels of stress, financial difficulties and health problems.
In this special series from News21, five families describe the worries and rewards of long-term care.
Silvia Ortiz, Houston, Texas
Silvia Ortiz spends her days ensuring that her mother has eaten properly and that her father has taken a walk. Ortiz lives in Houston’s Greater Fifth Ward, down the street from her parents, Maria Guadalupe Perez, 68, and Gregorio Perez, 67. Her mother has diabetes, arthritis and depression; her father has had knee surgery and heart problems.
The Perez family works with a case manager from the senior program at Neighborhood Centers Inc. Ortiz, who’s 41, has held a paying job for just three years, choosing instead to focus on her children — now all attending or graduated from college — and her parents.
Though she is relatively young for the role, Ortiz is hardly alone. Estimates of the number of caregivers in America vary widely, but AARP has calculated that at any point in time, 42.1 million Americans provide care for an adult with “limitations in daily activities.” That care can include anything from driving and paying bills to helping someone out of bed or to the bathroom.
For more information about receiving care for your loved one at home. Contact the caregivers at Andelcare. We can help your family with all of your care needs. We are a home care agency providing quality and affordable live in home care in Seattle WA and the surrounding communities. Call 888-788-3051.