Help That Helps

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Help That Helps

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holding-hands-858005_640(Editor’s Note: This is the fourth blog post in a series called Imagine during which I explore what could be when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent tracks family caregiver stress and its source.)

Imagine.

What if...

A health care professional understood the source of your stress, whether it be not enough money, not enough time, too many worries, too many responsibilities. With that knowledge, the health care professional could refer you to help that really helps in your community.

The health care professional knows about the source of your stress because that professional is required to ask you. Because of that requirement, we have data about the greatest sources of stress and how stress varies from community to community. Because of that data, we can focus funding on the solutions that make the greatest difference in your life. Perhaps the community in which you live receives funding for more adult day centers because that's what your community needs while another community gets dollars to create a conference for family caregivers because that's what that community needs.

The health care professional who asks about your stress also now has a much greater insight into the caregiving experience. When you share about your stress, you educate a health care professional which soon becomes the education of a health care system. As more understand about your days, more will be inspired to create programs and services to help you. You can't solve a problem when you are oblivious to the problem.

Tracking family caregiver stress and its source creates the data we need to more effectively help family caregivers. It also creates awareness of the family caregiver experience. You also have a chance to talk out the stress and then receive affirmation that, given all you're doing, it's no wonder you're stressed. From every angle, you win.

Unfortunately, this is not our reality right now.

Currently, we have no way to track family caregiver stress and its source in our communities. We believe family caregiver stress is the epidemic in our communities. Because it's an epidemic, we want the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track family caregiver stress and its source. You can help make it happen:

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