November is National Family Caregiver’s Month. It seems appropriate during a month when we focus on being thankful and grateful to honor family caregivers. There are two types of caregivers within our society. Those who are family members and those, such as Personal Care Aides, who help an individual be able to stay within their own home. We must also realize caregiving is not designated as only those who care for the elderly. Caregiving also includes those who are chronically ill or disabled, no matter what the age.
A Presidential Proclamation, recognizing National Family Caregiver Month shares the following:
“During National Family Caregivers Month, we pay tribute to the millions of Americans across our Nation who selflessly care for family members who are chronically ill, elderly, or who have a disability. We recognize the challenges of caregiving and celebrate the joys of bringing support and comfort to a loved one. We express our gratitude to them for the work they do daily to ensure their loved ones are able to live in their homes and communities.”
Many don’t realize the time and energy involved in being a family caregiver. Without realizing it, caregivers easily forget to take care of themselves. We discussed taking care of the caregiver on our blog, when Cardinal Institute for Health Careers declared August as “Take Care of the Caregiver” Month (https://www.cihealthcareers.com/blog/take-care-of-the-caregiver).
With November being “National Family Caregiver” Month, it gives the opportunity to share Caregiver Action Network’s “10 Tips for Family Caregivers”:
· Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone.
· Take care of your own health. You need to be strong enough to care for your loved one.
· Accept offers of help. Remember you are not alone.
· Take the time to learn how to effectively communicate with the health professionals involved in your loved one’s care.
· Caregiving is hard work. Don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Schedule respite breaks.
· Watch out for signs of depression. We tend to watch carefully for signs of depressions in our loved one but don’t forget yourself. Seek professional help if you need it.
· Be open to new technology which can help you care for your loved one. Read “Technology Tips for Caregivers” (https://caregiveraction.org/tech)
· Organize medical information so it is easy to find and up-to-date. Visit Caregiver Action Network and download the Medication Checklist (https://caregiveraction.org/medication-checklist)
· Make sure your loved one’s legal documents are in order.
· Don’t forget to give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is…. CAREGIVING!!
As we continue to journey the road of caregiving, may we remember to be thankful and to thank those who are the Family caregiver.
Reference Photo One: 10 Tips for Family Caregivers
Accessed at: https://caregiveraction.org/sites/default/files/10%20Tips%20for%20Family%20Caregivers.pdf. Accessed on: November 20, 2018.
Reference: National Family Caregivers Month
Accessed at: https://caregiveraction.org/
Accessed on: November 20, 2018.
Reference: Presidential Proclamation (National Family Caregivers Month)
Accessed on: November 20, 2018.