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Caregiving: The act of providing assistance in meeting the daily needs of another person, typically over an extended period of time.

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Two of the most common types of caregiving are informal and formal:

  • Informal caregiving involves providing assistance to someone as a partner, family member, friend, or neighbor that is usually unpaid

  • Formal caregiving involves providing assistance to someone as a volunteer or paid worker who is a member of a caregiving agency/organization

At some point in your life, you are likely to find yourself caring for – or preparing to care for – a loved one. In fact, the majority of caregiving in America is provided by informal caregivers.

Teenage girl laying in a hospital bed being cared for by her mother due to issues she's experiencing

There are many variations of informal caregiving such as:

  • A married couple living with, and caring for, a parent with dementia
  • A grandmother serving as the primary caregiver for her grandchildren who live with her
  • A husband caregiving for his veteran wife who has a deployment-related traumatic brain injury
  • A single parent caring for a child with special needs
  • A gay man caring for his husband who has cancer
  • A woman who provides long-distance caregiving to an aging best friend

Little girl hugging her grandmother from behind, while providing care, as her grandmother sits on a couch

Caregiving can lead to many benefits for the caregiver such as feeling useful and needed, knowing that the care recipient is getting quality care, learning new skills, developing and/or deepening a connection with the care recipient, and fulfilling one’s sense of meaning and purpose in life. For many caregivers, these benefits (as well as a multitude of others) coexist with struggles.

While many caregivers cope successfully with caregiving struggles, others experience caregiver strain and are at risk of depression and anxiety, as well as, physical health problems.

Some common struggles include:

  • Stress associated with meeting care needs
  • Responding to family issues
  • Concern over relationship with the care recipient
  • Availability of formal and informal supports
  • Disruptions to life areas such as work, education, and other relationships
  • Planning for the future

To be a balanced and effective caregiver, it is important to care for yourself.

Counseling and therapy at Wellness Grove…

Our clinicians are trained to build on the benefits of caregiving and help reduce strain. We can provide individual, couples, and family sessions to help you (and your loved ones) prepare for, and make healthy adjustments to, caregiving. As part of your sessions, you can learn education on caregiving, new coping skills, and available sources of support. We are here to normalize your feelings, help you stay grounded, and improve your satisfaction in your caregiving relationship.

Our in-person (outpatient) counseling services are offered in Canton OH (near Akron, North Canton, and Massillon). We also offer telemental health sessions to all Ohio residents.

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