The Importance Of Informal Support

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Our level of support, type of support, and access to support changes throughout our life, the times today have shifted compared to previous family generations, families have become smaller and are having fewer children, divorce rates are higher, job location and availability have created long distance relationships among families, and the overall fast paced lifestyle families today live reduces time spent with family (Novak 382). In order to maintain support one needs as they age it’s important to utilize many types of support systems, both formal and informal, understand the challenges and burden of caregiving and how this burden can turn into elderly abuse. Informal support refers to unpaid help such as friends, neighbors, and family and is in the form of advice, affection, transportation, and companionship, formal support is paid support from professional such as doctors, nurses and social workers (Novak 382). In the early part of the later years spouses if able will take on the caregiver role, but this shifts as both spouses age, health declines, and the stress caused from being a primary caregiver. In the later years elders rely on a combination of informal and formal support, formal support will become prominent as health declines and informal supports will shift from the spouse being the primary caregiver to adult children, younger siblings, even grandkids. For those without children they will rely on neighbors or friends. All of us will likely experience the
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