Whether women work in the home or outside the home, they have a variety of equally important responsibilities. Professionally and personally, most women are constantly multi-tasking. From work commitments to raising children, supporting their partners, and fulfilling roles within their communities, as well as maintaining familial ties – the list is endless. Most women would agree that the mental load to organize, pre-empt, and coordinate their responsibilities puts a tremendous amount of pressure on them.
An additional responsibility on the horizon for many women is the role of caregiver for a family member. According to the Alliance for Family Care, 39.8 million Americans care for a family member with a medical condition or disability. 75% of those caregivers are women. This means that the reality for most women is that at some point in their lives, they will need to consider the process of care for a family member or loved one. Different situations requiring care could range from a diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, cancer, or recovery from an orthopedic procedure. The type of care can also vary from simple, weekly tasks to more intensive daily care. Any task, big or small, is in addition to an already busy lifestyle with multiple commitments.
In 2020, when the first wave of a global pandemic brought most of the world to a standstill, the systems that so many women rely on to help juggle their responsibilities were also disrupted. Women who worked outside the home were suddenly asked to work at home. Women with families and children had to navigate online learning or keeping their children busy while educational facilities were closed. Grandparents or family members who used to provide support were limited in their ability to help due to health-related impacts on more vulnerable members of society. Workplaces were closed, melding work life and home life together in a way most had never experienced.
In a recent wellness seminar where doctors, social workers and mental health professionals came together to discuss the impact of caregiving on women during the last 2 years, the consensus across the board was unanimous that women are disproportionately the primary caregivers for adult family members and across their personal networks. During the last 2 years, female caregivers have become increasingly isolated as the systemic support they need to maintain their multiple roles were temporarily suspended during the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Advice for women who also act as caregivers emphasized the airplane safety philosophy of helping yourself before you can help others. The importance of helping oneself can present itself in many forms of self-care ranging from support groups, finding like minded individuals, and making time for oneself. However, a lesser discussed act of self-care is reaching out to a professional organization that specializes in caregiving to help ease the burden that falls on so many women.
An organization like Care Mountain, with over 16 years of tenured experience in the field of providing in-home care across the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area can be a great support for many women navigating the challenges of part-time or full-time caregiving for a loved one.
Care Mountain provides several options for care with specialized, and experienced caregivers who are familiar with a variety of medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, cancer, limited mobility issues with high fall risks, and orthopedic procedures.
Support can come in the form of hourly care to help a few hours or days / week. This is usually the case when the loved one’s condition is in the mild to early moderate stages of disease progression. Live-in care is recommended for moderate – severe stages of disease progression where the individual requires continuous, 24/7 care. This ensures that the patient’s needs are being met in a continuously supervised environment within the comfort of their own home. 24/7 care eliminates the need for family caregivers to alter their living arrangements and personal life.
Care Mountains professional caregivers offer the following services to help support families :
Statistics, data and social feedback all tell us that women in the roles of caregivers need support. While that support can come through different avenues, the need for consistent and steady support is most important. Working with an organization like Care Mountain can help bridge any gaps in the support system and allow for women to help family members while having the agency to focus on their personal and professional responsibilities as well.