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Caregiving Support Initiative: 

"Helping Others "Get Better"

The IAWH Helping Others "Get Better" initiative offers support to women that assist others in feeling better, and ourselves. You may, at some time in your life, be called upon to help another heal. Women are more likely to provide care in their lifetime. IAWH provides evidence-informed training, support, and resources to women living in Prince William County, VA, and around the country to increase their knowledge of where to find help before or when the need arises to offer some form of care - with self care at the center of healing.  

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BACKGROUND

IAWH recognizes that women and men care for others, but recent studies have found gender differences. The study, Caregiving and Caregiver Health 1 - Year into the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Gender Analysis, found: 

  • Gender differences in informal caregiving already existed before the pandemic, with women faring worse than men in terms of health and quality of life. 

  • Caregivers of both genders have played an essential role in caring for the most vulnerable members of our society during the pandemic. "…Women experienced a greater increase in caregiving intensity, a greater reduction in informal support, and a greater decline in emotional wellbeing."

  • Both men and women reported feeling more burdened than before the pandemic and mentioned a significant impact on their social lives and leisure activities. 

  • Women's health was affected more than men's, even after correction for other aspects of caregiving. 

 

Rosalynn Carter (wife of former president Jimmy Carter) said, There are only four kinds of people in the world- those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. Several years ago, Rosalynn addressed the US Congress and provided these statistics: 

  • Older people caring for spouses have a 63 percent higher mortality rate than those of a similar age without caregiving responsibilities;

  • The stress of caring for a person with dementia negatively impacts the caregiver's immune system for up to three years after caregiving ends, making them much more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses;

  • Caregivers report chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes at twice the rates of non-caregivers;

  • Up to 50 percent of caregivers report struggling with depression, and the rates are even higher when caring for a loved one with dementia.

The IAWH Helping Others "Get Better" initiative values caregivers' dedication and recognizes that often you need help for yourself in order to help others. You want to hear from and connect with others like you. We will help bridge those connections. 

Upcoming Activities:

Fall 2022 -

  • Webinar: How You or Your Loved One Can Live with Independence & Dignity at Home and Community. Registration available in September 2022