Posted by Kristi Torp on November 1st, 2022
Posted in: Public Health, Public Libraries
Tags: caregivers, caregiving, consumer health, NNLM Reading Club
November is National Family Caregivers Month. Caregiving is an often overlooked, but important public health issue that affects many peoples’ quality of life. Caregivers aid with another person’s social and health needs. This may include help with one or more activities important for daily living such as bathing and dressing, paying bills, shopping, and providing transportation. Many caregiving activities also involve emotional support and help with managing another person’s chronic disease or disability. Caregiving responsibilities can increase and change as the recipient’s needs increase, which often results in additional strain on the caregiver.
Caregivers can be unpaid family members or friends or paid workers. Informal or unpaid caregivers are the backbone of long-term care provided in many people’s homes. Middle-aged and older adults provide a substantial portion of this care in the US, as they care for children, parents, or spouses.
People who work as caregivers can be impacted in a number of ways including their ability to work, engage in social interactions and relationships, and maintain good physical and mental health. Although caregiving can bring great satisfaction and strengthen relationships, thus enhancing the caregivers’ quality of life, it is also critical to understand the physical and mental health burden on caregivers, the range of tasks caregivers may perform, and the societal and economic impacts of long-term chronic diseases or disability. Gathering information on these topics enables us to plan for public health approaches to assist individuals as well as their communities to maintain better health outcomes of caregivers and care recipients. (Adapted from https://www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/caregiver-brief.html)
For information on each of our three featured books, free downloadable book club discussion guides, customizable promotional materials and more, visit NNLM Reading Club: Caregiving.