The landscape of the American caregiver is constantly changing, and as such, American millennials must change with it. What was once a hallowed task carried out by older generations, the increasing need to take care of one’s parents in old age is shifting. One in Four caregivers are millennials—meaning you! Taking care of grandparents, parents, and the like, is no longer a task carried out by the older generation, but by young millennials looking to make an impact. Well, what does that mean for us?
Well, it means, on top of the already straining standards of taking care of a job, finishing a degree, and yes, even those getting married, for many there is the added pressure of helping take care of one’s parents. How do we balance all of that, and yet, still find time for a killer social life and maybe even save room for love? Amy Goyer knows exactly how. Goyer, who is currently a caregiver for her father, wrote a book all about managing a fulfilling and joyful life as a caregiver in the modern age.
Using her personal experiences, she touches on everything from organization, technological advances, and how millennials can thrive and survive in this changing landscape. Goyer knows a thing or two about this topic, and luckily for Quirky Daily, she wanted to share her insight with the world! Learn from her and her joys when it comes to this sensitive topic for many across this generation. Touching on tips to make you more organized, how her book can provide help, and the what you can do to get involved and help a caregiver in your neighborhood. Whether this is currently your life, or you are interested in learning more, this is something everyone will face sooner or later—and Amy Goyer is here to help!
One in six Americans is a family caregiver. Some interesting things about profile of a caregiver that is changing, 40 percent of family caregivers are now men. And one in four are millennials between the ages of 18 and 34. So it’s not just us baby boomers that are caregivers. We also know that the 75 plus those in their age range who are caregiving are more likely to do it on their own.
[My book was released] on November 7. One of my top tips [from the book] is actually to start looking at yourself. 60 percent of family caregivers are working. So their working an average of 18 hours a week caring for loved one’s on top of that, which is another job. Clearly we’re all pressed, so we need to look at our lives first and see what our resources are. What do we have time for? What do we have energy for? How do we balance that with the needs of our families, of our own health, and our financial resources? Look at the needs of your loved ones, and then fill the gaps with the needs of other people. You have to build a caregiving team, and it doesn’t have to all be family.
My dad is a veteran, so there is veteran resources available to him. My dad is 92 and has Alzheimer’s, and he lives with me. So I am living this firsthand, and pretty much have my whole adult life.
The other thing you have to do is be organized. I have a whole chapter in my book about [organization]. I talk about ways to use technology to keep all the pieces and the parts going.
[This month] is national family caregivers month, and we are very excited to be doing something to try and honor family caregivers. We’re all pressed and overwhelmed… so we’re asking people to go out and do a random act of kindness for a caregiver. Do things to free them up, so they can be encouraged.
We have an online caregiving resource center aarp.org/caregiving.
To learn more about Amy Goyer, her new book, and how to show your support watch the exclusive interview below.