Are you in a caregiving role? Here's how to tell and what to do

Nicole M. Clagett Image
Friday, August 18, 2023

In today's fast-paced world, many find ourselves unexpectedly taking on caregiving responsibilities for loved ones. Whether it's assisting an aging parent, supporting a sick family member, or taking care of a friend in need, the role of a caregiver can be both rewarding and challenging. Recognizing if you're in a caregiving role is crucial for providing the right support and maintaining your own well-being.

4 signs you're in a caregiving role:

  1. Increased Responsibility: If you've noticed a significant increase in your responsibilities for a family member or friend, such as helping with daily tasks, managing appointments, or providing emotional support, you are likely in a caregiving role.
  2. Time Commitment: If a substantial portion of your time is spent looking after someone else's needs, it's a clear indication you have taken on caregiving responsibilities.
  3. Emotional Investment: Feelings of concern, empathy, and responsibility for someone's well-being signify you are fulfilling a caregiving role.
  4. Financial Support: Providing financial assistance, covering medical expenses, or managing finances for someone else are signs of a caregiving role.

Caregiving in North Carolina:

Unpaid care provided by the 1.28 million family caregivers in North Carolina is valued at $16.5 billion, according to new state data available in AARP's latest report in the Valuing the Invaluable series. This is a $3.4 billion increase in unpaid contributions since the last report was released in 2019. Caregivers are the unsung heroes playing a vital role in assuring their loved one's quality of life and overall well-being.

What to do as a caregiver:

If you find yourself in a caregiving role, it's essential to prioritize your own well-being while offering support to your loved one. Consider these steps:

  • Seek Information: Educate yourself about your loved one's condition and available resources. Knowledge empowers you to provide better care.
  • Build a Support Network: Reach out to support groups, online communities, and organizations that provide assistance for caregivers. You're not alone on this journey.
  • Self-Care: Take care of your physical and mental health. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  • Delegate and Ask for Help: Don't hesitate to delegate tasks or ask for help from other family members, friends, or professionals.
  • Educate Yourself: For those currently caregiving or anticipating becoming a caregiver, the upcoming Duke Caregiver Community event is a must-attend. This event will provide valuable insights, resources, and connections to fellow caregivers, offering a supportive environment to share experiences and learn from experts. Join us on September 7 at the Sheraton Imperial to connect, learn and find the support you need. To register go to the Duke Caregiver Community Event website.

Recognizing your role as a caregiver is the first step toward providing meaningful support to your loved one. Remember, taking care of yourself is crucial to being an effective and compassionate caregiver. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow at the Duke Caregiver Community Event and connect with a community that understands the challenges and rewards of caregiving.

If you are caring for a loved one, hop on over to ABC11's Caregivers Corner to get support from more than 2,500 other people in our community who are faced with similar challenges.