Five Smart Tips for Family Caregivers

grandmother being cared for - caregivers
grandmother being cared for - caregivers

Picture this: You're a middle-aged worker, raising your kids and worried about your job and mortgage, and suddenly your 75-year-old mother breaks her hip. She needs your help to continue living independently, and of course you'll rise to the challenge. But at what cost to your own financial and emotional burdens? Welcome to the caregiver challenge of 2011.

According to AARP's report,Family Caregiving in the U.S, caregivers chip in an estimated $375 billion a year to help out a loved one financially. But the sputtering economy and tenuous employment picture have placed an added strain on family caregivers, both emotionally and financially, according to the report.

At least you're in good company. Approximately 29% of the U.S. adult population, or 65.7 million people, are caregivers. Alas, there is no safety in numbers, and just as the need is growing every year, the caregiver's role just keeps getting tougher.