Taking care of the caregivers during COVID-19 pandemic

Taking care of the caregivers during COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 19:31:13-04

Right now, a study shows there are about 10 million more people taking care of a loved one today than there were just five years ago. That number is only rising, as people suddenly find themselves working as a caregiver amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"There's lots of people that used to have at home care coming in, and people might feel heightened or worried about bringing them in, so it might add extra duties on the family members that may overtake that," said Maura Horton, care coach.

Horton took on the role of caregiver after he late husband, Boston College and North Carolina State football coach Don Horton, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2006. She recognizes those extra duties can come with a lot of extra stress.

"One of the biggest concerns is not only physical health, but mental health for whomever they're carrying for, and so it's extra stress and extra creativity that is needed to help manifest through this time," said Horton.

So who is there to take care of the caregivers when they need help?

"Sometimes nobody, so the caregivers have to take a breath and take a few moments for themselves and stop and try to take care of themselves, at all times too, to make sure that they are doing the best they can for themselves and not only for whomever they're taking care of," explained Horton.

There are a few things family members can do together which also could help caregivers manage the pressure of the pandemic.

"Try not to be consumed by what's happening right now, and try to be creative and curious and learn more about their lives, or things that happened to them that might be really interesting facts that we can have moments of respite even on our mental health," said Horton.