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Davis Journal

Caregivers get support and resources through Davis County Health

Feb 27, 2023 09:43AM ● By Peri Kinder

Hundreds of residents in Davis County are caring for aging parents while raising their own families. The Caregiver Academy, offered through Davis County Health, provides resources and information to help avoid burnout and frustration. Stock photo

In Utah, more than 30% of people between the ages of 55 and 64 are caring for an aging parent. Davis County numbers follow the state trend which means hundreds of residents spend time on caregiving duties every day. 

A typical day might involve helping an aging parent with personal care (like bathing and dressing), preparing meals, overseeing medication and doctor appointments and providing housekeeping assistance. Many of these caregivers are also raising children and holding down jobs.

They’re called the sandwich generation, adults who care for both children and parents, and these caregivers are experiencing high levels of burnout. 

“One of the biggest challenges right now is caregivers are being pulled in two directions. They’re taking care of a parent and they still have children in the household,” said Rachelle Blackham, director of senior services at the Davis County Health Department. “There is data that show if someone is a caregiver they have a higher risk of declining health. Being a caregiver takes a toll physically and emotionally. But they’re truly not alone. Seek help from us, take a class.”

Davis County Health offers a Caregiver Academy two or three times a year to provide information, assistance and support to caregivers. The free 6-week workshop is designed to address what caregivers need most. 

Starting Thursday, March 9, weekly classes run from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the University of Utah Farmington Clinic (165 N. University Ave.), covering topics like finding resources, building resilience, setting boundaries, asking for help and managing difficult behaviors. To reserve a spot call 801-525-5050, Option 5.

“Not a lot of people know how to do that when they first start and we focus a lot on that during the Caregiver Academy,” said Megan Forbush, SSW, in-home case managers for senior services at the Davis County Health Department. “We’re teaching them to reach out to others and set boundaries, and how to build resilience. Without those skills they’ll experience burnout.”

Several factors contribute to this “sandwich generation” phenomenon. People are living longer which means an older aging population. Also, families are having children later in life, or adult children have moved back to the family home. Caregivers often have high stress levels, trying to manage everything.

Additionally, many aging parents experience dementia or some type of memory issue, making daily care more difficult and stressful. Caregivers are starting to reach out for help through professional agencies but a shortage of CNAs or nursing assistants is affecting their ability to find help. 

“They are willing to pay for services, but can’t always get it when they need it,” Forbush said. “This is something we’ve never seen and it’s a new trend that started happening right before the pandemic. Now with working from home or working on the computer or doing things on the phone it makes it so people don’t want to do those hard jobs.”

Forbush invites caregivers to visit Davis County Health in Clearfield (22 S. State St.) to see where they might be eligible for assistance and learn about resources available or visit 

Caregivers can get information about power-of-attorney, legal forms and end-of-life issues. Davis County Health offers multiple workshops, an Alzheimer’s support group and a monthly newsletter with a list of classes. 

“Caregivers are overwhelmed and afraid and not always taking care of themselves,” Forbush said. “This academy was created to help caregivers from burnout by giving them skills and tools they can use to help. There’s always something they can attend. So while Caregiver Academy is only a few times a year, there are other programs they can attend during the year.”