It’s no secret that caregiving is a tough job. This November, join us in recognizing those special people that give freely of their time and heart to care for millions of elderly and ill friends and loved ones. It’s often a thankless job, but National Family Caregivers Month aims to raise awareness and celebrate the efforts of these selfless caregivers.
Resources For Caregivers
- Attend a conference or workshop. 2020 might make these look a little different, but they are probably now more accessible than ever via virtual live streaming. These events help caregivers with practical advice and solidarity. You are not alone. You can also Join a Community in the Caregiver Action Network to talk with others going through exactly what you’re going through right now. You’ll gain valuable insights and feel empowered by a strong network of people that are rooting for you.
- Download a toolbox. The Caregiver Action Network provides an amazing free resource specifically for caregivers in their Family Caregiver Toolbox. It’s loaded with everything from checklists for medications to eldercare locators and agency resources available to you and your loved one.
- Don’t forget self-care. As a caregiver, it’s often easy to forget about caring for yourself. Take some time this month to take a hot bath, read a book, go for a walk, or just take a nap. You deserve it!
Here are the top 10 tips for Caregivers from the Caregiver Action Network:
- Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
- Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
- Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
- Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
- Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
- Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
- Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
- Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
- Make sure legal documents are in order.
- Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
If you need support, you can call the Caregiver Help Desk at 855-227-3640.
If you are not a caregiver but have a friend or family member who is, here are some ideas to honor that person this month (and every month):
- Write them a handwritten letter or card to let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing.
- Send them a gift that promotes their own self-care (such as a gift certificate to a spa or massage therapist).
- Recognize their efforts publicly. Post to your social media recognizing this person for their hard work.
- Buy them a cup of coffee. Caregiving can get lonely. Make sure you take the time to sit down with them and talk on a regular basis. Just let them know that you’re there for support.
- Ask how you can help. Often, caregivers feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Ask if you can help by running errands, cleaning their home, or even cooking a meal for them or their family. This can be such a help to an over-stressed caregiver.
This month is all about raising awareness for the heroic efforts of those selfless caregivers among us. 1 in 2 families is affected by elderly or ill loved ones that require a caregiver. That means there are plenty of caregivers for you to honor this month in your own network. Reach out and brighten their day by letting them know you appreciate them!