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More caregivers reaching out for help as COVID-19 pandemic continues

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Posted at 12:30 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 14:30:33-04

Caregivers already deal with a lot of stress and it's rising.

The Caregiver Action Network has been seeing more calls coming into its free help desk recently. It says one out of every three has something to do with a challenge raised by the pandemic.

“By the end of the call, I actually will hear them breathing like a deep breath of like sigh of relief almost and that they're actually feeling better at the end of the call, having been able to express some of their thoughts, some of their worries,” said Jennifer Piscitello, caregiving expert with the Caregiver Help Desk.

Piscitello says people calling in are expressing a lot of pandemic fatigue. They're overwhelmed, because they don't have the same resources or outlets they had previously.

The pandemic may also be keeping loved ones at home longer.

“Aging in place has gone from being a desire, a wish, to almost a mandate or something that really has to happen because families are just afraid to have their elderly loved ones put in a nursing home,” said John Schall, CEO of the Caregiver Action Network.

Schall says we need more training and financial support for the caregivers in this situation.

The expansion of telehealth has been helpful, but one challenge is when caregivers can't be present when that virtual visit is happening, like they would be with an in-person doctor's visit.

Experts at the help desk are making sure caregivers focus on their self-care now more than ever. They say you can help any caregivers you know by checking in on them and offering whatever support they need.

The number for the help desk is 855-227-3640. You can also find more resources specific to the pandemic at CaregiverAction.org.