Disclosure: I am donating this space on my blog to share this important information. For the accompanying Twitter Party, I am being compensated by Element Associates as a consultant. 

AARP #CareChat 11-13 at 1pm EST

I just got a call from my cousin who told me that my uncle went “psycho” and tore up my grandparents’ house, as well as broke my grandfather’s nose and cheek bones My uncle has a mental illness, so my grandparents had been caring for him even though he is in his 50s. He in turn would try to help them around the house with some things because they are in their 80s. Obviously my uncle is now in jail. I began to think back to the last time I visited their house in September. I saw how their condition deteriorated so much since the last time I had visited them a year before. My grandparents are usually very independent and energetic. But the last time I was there, there was cat feces on the carpet, their house was a mess, and they were both really depressed. Now with what happened with my uncle, I am beginning to think I might bring my grandparents to my house for some time. It saddens me to see them in such a situation. I also am saddened because most of the other siblings have abandoned them.

They are not helpless, but I believe that they need some help now. They are always so busy trying to help everyone else that it has left them drained. That being said, I am trying to figure out how to best help them. Fortunately my aunt and uncle have stepped up to the plate to go there and help them cleanup the house and adjust to life without my uncle’s help. But I still can’t help but feel they need a break. I am using these resources from the AARP to help me plan for assisting them, even if only temporary: Prepare to Care (Caregiving Planning Guide for Families) http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/home-and-family/caregiving/2012-10/prepare-to-care-lores.pdf

Did you know November is National Family Caregivers Month? It’s a great time to celebrate the more than 42 million people in the U.S. that are caring for an older relative or friend. If you are a caregiver yourself or if you know one, you know that sometimes this means you need extra support.

According to AARP’s research, the more than 42 million caregivers in the U.S. provide an estimated $450 billion worth of unpaid care to aging relatives and friends. Many think that caregivers are paid health professionals, providing full-time care to someone in need of daily help, when in reality, most caregivers are also working and managing their own families at the same time. This can be highly stressful work, putting caregivers at risk for depression and anxiety immunosuppression, cardiovascular disease, premature aging, among other physiological consequences, as well as causing financial problems.

It is important for all caregivers to know that AARP has created a community of experts and other caregivers to help at aarp.org/caregiving.

If you are a caregiver or thinking about becoming a caregiver, join our Twitter Chat on Thursday 11/13, 1pm EST by following #CareChat and @AARPFamily. Amy Goyer (@amygoyer), AARP Family & Caregiving Expert, will be available to answer your questions.

And check out this PSA bringing awareness to caregivers:

Disclosure: I am not being compensated for this post, but am being compensated as a Twitter Party Consultant for the accompanying Twitter Party.