P.O. Box 1529 | Franklin, TN 37065 | info@communityoutreachministries.org | Tel: 615.591-1441 | 501(c)3  

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Time to Breathe - Care for Caregivers

The Problem

 

The U.S. has an aging population. As baby boomers begin to age, we are faced with the largest elderly and aging population that we have ever had. Consider these facts:

  • Almost 13% of the population, or around 39 million people (the highest number in history) are age 65 or older

  • By 2050, this number will increase to 20% of the population or 88.5 million people

  • Between 2000 and 2010, the fastest growing population segment was 85-94. This segment grew by 29%

  • The fastest growing population segment today is those who are 85 years old and up, and will be for the next 40 years

  • Average life expectancy is now 78.3 years, the highest in history

  • 40% of our population is age 45 and above

There are several reasons for this population shift, but among them are:

  • The aging of the baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964

  • Advances in modern medicine

  • More nutritional education

  • More active and healthy lifestyles

The consequences of this shift are monumental. It is creating a huge strain on the medical industry. Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and other programs for elderly or aging people were not originally designed or planned with this phenomenon in mind. So, we are a nation unprepared.

 

Sadly, so are many individuals and their families who are now dealing with the problems of aging. Most are unprepared mentally, physically and especially financially.

The cost of assisted living, skilled nursing care and other forms of care needed for the elderly are very high, far beyond what most can afford. The result is that 65.7 million people in our country are now caregivers, taking care of someone who cannot take care of himself or herself.

And, aging is not the only issue that brings on the need for a caregiver. Many are called in to a caregiver role as a result of caring for sick children, caring for disabled veterans, caring for people with diseases such as Parkinson’s, ALS, MLS, and others. Regardless of the circumstances, the struggle is the same.

The toll that caregiving takes on the caregiver is monumental. Stress, depression, high illness rates, financial crisis, and isolation are all just a part of a caregiver’s life.

 

So, the question becomes, how do we, as God’s people, respond to this tremendous problem, the people whose lives are being strongly impacted as a result of being called upon to be a caregiver in someone’s life, and the powerful opportunity for ministry that this presents? 

Community Outreach Ministries Response

Our response to the struggling caregivers within our community is a ministry that we have developed and named Time To Breathe. We want to help and to connect with the caregivers of our community and offer them help, hope, healing and support them in any way that we can.

 

Here are some of the things that we are doing:

  • Be a clearinghouse for information and resources for caregivers, connecting them with whatever they need

  • Be a safe place for caregivers to turn for physical, emotional and spiritual support

  • Help churches develop support systems for caregivers

  • Help churches in identifying caregivers who may need support

  • Provide direct relational and inspirational support for caregivers through groups, classes and various other means

  • Work with local agencies, facilities and other groups in the community to identify caregivers with needs

  • With a loud voice, bring awareness and attention to this crisis and the needs of caregivers

  • Provide pastoral support for caregivers

  • Involve volunteers in various ways to provide support and relief for caregivers

  • Educate and train individuals and churches in the realities of caregiving and how to respond

We obviously cannot solve all of the problems nor provide support for every caregiver that needs it, but we do believe that God can use us to make a difference in the lives of many…with His help, His strength, His guidance and His blessing.

 

Join us in this exciting opportunity to touch lives, to minister to tired, discouraged, broken, wounded, and sometimes invisible and forgotten group of people!

We need people who are willing to be trained and volunteer to provide support for caregivers. 

We need churches who will partner with us to help us to identify people within their church family who need support, and will partner with us to allow us to help them develop an effective ministry to the caregivers.

We need people to put us in contact with people that they know in the community, that might not have a church home, who need caregiver support.

 

And, we need individuals, companies, and church partners who will support us financially to fund this ministry.