November and Caregiving

by Denise D.

National Family Caregiver Month

Happy National Family Caregiver Month! November is the time to recognize those who do the essential, but generally hidden and unpaid, work of caregiving for a family member or friend.

Chances are, you know a caregiver. As Rosalynn Carter famously noted, ““There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”

In 2015, there were over 43.5 million family caregivers in the United States, spending time helping another with the daily tasks of living– dressing, bathing, eating, getting around, and basic hygiene. Many, especially those working with aging parents, children with special needs and wounded veterans, also provided intense and complex nursing and medical care.

Wondering how to observe National Caregiver Month? First of all, spread the word. Caregiving is a fundamentally important job that too often goes unobserved and underappreciated. We can counter that by raising awareness, speaking up for caregivers, recognizing their crucial contribution to societal health, and letting them know that they are not alone. Celebrate the work done by the caregivers in your life with gratitude and a gift. Let caregivers know about the resources available to them, including the Caregiver Action Network‘s 10 Tips for Caregivers:

10 Tips for Caregivers

  1. You are not alone! Seek support from others.
  2. Take care of your own health.
  3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things others can do to help you.
  4. Learn how to communicate effectively with health providers.
  5. Honor your hard work by taking respite breaks.
  6. Watch for signs of depression and get help.
  7. Be open to new technologies that can help.
  8. Organize medical information so it is up-to-date and easy to find.
  9. Make sure legal documents are in order.
  10. Give yourself credit for doing one of the toughest jobs there is! We see you and appreciate all that you do. Thank you!

Are you a caregiver? How would you like to be honored this month? What resources have you found helpful? What can Sno-Isle do to help you?

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