“Pressed Into Caregiving Sooner Than Expected” – The New York Times

caregivingGina Rinehart, left, poses for a portrait with her father at his home near Hoodsport, Wash., on March 3, 2017. Bub Hall has lung cancer and Ms. Rinehart has been helping take care of him for four years. Credit David Ryder for The New York Times

“It was August, and Gina Rinehart was preparing for another school year as a special-education teacher in Hemet, Calif., when she got the call: Her father, Floyd Hall, was facing surgery to remove a tumor in his lung.

“She flew to rural Lake Cushman, Wash., to be with her parents, expecting to spend two weeks helping her dad recover. Her father, known as Bub and an active retiree at 68, spent his days woodworking, volunteering at the local food bank and helping his own 95-year-old mother.

“But the report from the surgical team was grim: Stage 4 lung cancer, a terminal diagnosis. ‘Have you ever heard news and felt like you wanted to throw up?’ said Ms. Rinehart, who recalls breaking into a cold sweat. ‘I was seriously shocked.'”

Read this New York Times article in its entirety, click here.

This AARP site, Caregiving in the United States 2015, has more information about caregiving and identifies the typical caregiver this way.

WHO
The typical caregiver is a 49-year-old female, currently caring for a 69-year-old female  relative who needs care because of a long-term physical condition.

WHAT

She has been providing care for 4 years on average, spending 24.4 hours a week (68 percent help 20 hours or less; 32 percent help 21 hours or more). These caregivers typically help with 1.7 activities of daily living (ADLs; such as help with bathing and dressing)2 and 4.2 instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs; such as running errands or managing finances), and usually conduct medical or nursing tasks (such as wound care, giving injections, or managing medications) for their loved one. She is the primary, unpaid care provider and provides care without the assistance of paid help.

WORK AND CAREER
She is typically employed and working full time (an average of 34.7 hours per week). This caregiver is likely married or living with a partner, and in very good or good health. She is a high school graduate or has taken some college courses, but does not have a degree. Her average household income is $54,700.

ABOUT THE CARE RECIPIENT
This caregiver usually cares for only one adult. That adult, the care recipient, likely lives either with the caregiver or very close by (within 20 minutes of the caregiver’s home). The care recipient typically has been hospitalized at least once in the past year.

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