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The Training Gap for Family Caregivers

A recent study from the United Hospital Fund and the AARP Public Policy Institute raised some eyebrows when it revealed that approximately 46 percent of family caregivers perform some medical or nursing task around the house. Now, new information is coming to light that suggests there may not be enough training available to family members, The New York Times reports.

Currently, much of the training for family members providing home care is focused on activities related to daily living. While this can provide them with the knowledge to assist their loved ones with tasks such as bathing or getting dressed, when conditions necessitate more attention – such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis – it may not be enough.

Experts say the best thing for family caregivers to do is to reach out to medical professionals. It may be an uncomfortable conversation at first, but asking about how to correctly perform certain duties can be a big help, the Times advises.

In some instances, it is best to enlist the help of professional home care providers. They can help fill the knowledge gaps and play an important role in reducing caregiver burnout. This is especially true in the case of chronic conditions that may have made an elderly loved one more frail such as heart failure or stroke.

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