November is National Family Caregivers Month. This is a time to celebrate the contribution of those volunteer friends and family members who support a loved one with their health or managing a disability.
10 Tips for National Family Caregivers Month
1. You’re not alone.
More than 65 million Americans care for their aging or disabled loved ones on a yearly basis. (National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare, 2009)
2. Your work is valuable.
3. You are America’s #1 long-term care provider.
Family caregivers provide a staggering 90% of long-term care in America. (Institute of Medicine, 2008)
4. Caregiving is costly.
Nearly half of working caregivers report that caregiving expenses have depleted most — or even all — of their savings. (National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare, 2009)
5. You have to care for yourself first.
If you’re not keeping yourself healthy and happy, it’s doubtful that you will be able to do your best for your loved one. Review the caregiver’s bill of rights and remember to take care of yourself.
6. Knowledge and spirituality can make your job easier.
A 2004 survey found that 73% of caregivers said that praying helps them to cope with the stress. 44% said that reading books about caregiving and visiting supportive websites like our Caregiver’s Blog helps them not only to manage their daily frustrations, but also gives them a sense of community. (National Alliance for Caregiving, 2004)
7. You have someone to talk to.
Caregiver support groups meet throughout the United States. For those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association maintains a database of support groups. General caregiving support groups that aren’t specifically focused on memory loss can be found by contacting your local hospital. Furthermore, there are many online support groups and forums for caregivers.
8. You can take a break.
Just because you’ve committed to caring for a loved one doesn’t mean you can’t take a break. Respite care is short-term care, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, that can be provided at a local senior community or even in the home. Adult daycare is another similar option. These services allow family caregivers to relax and “recharge” with the knowledge that their loved one is safe and sound.
9. You have limits.
Despite the demonstrated strength and perseverance of family caregivers, each of us has limits. It’s important to recognize when our loved one has declined to a point that professional care is the best option.
10. Help is available.
Assured Healthcare can help. Our knowledgeable, compassionate staff will provide you with information about resources and healthcare options to meet a broad range of specific care needs. Visit our Home Care Services page to learn more.