During the month of November we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month and those who dedicate their lives to supporting and assisting others with declining health or long-term illnesses. Caregivers average 24.4 hours a week providing care to their spouse, loved one, or relative. The demands on caregivers can be difficult, both emotionally and physically, so remember to thank a caregiver this month. Here are some ways to acknowledge the special work caregivers do each day.
Say Thank You
Caregivers often go unrecognized in their day-to-day activities. If you know someone who provides care for their loved one, consider sending them a special thank-you card, or take time to visit them in their home. Small tokens of gratitude and acknowledgement go a long way. Sometimes all it takes is “thanks” to brighten a person’s day.
There’s never enough time in the day for caregivers. Although rewarding, Caregiving can also be exhausting and demanding. Try asking for concrete ways that you can help a caregiver get through their day. Maybe they need help prioritizing things to get done, or maybe they just need a hot meal. Sites like Meal Train helps groups organize and plan hot meals for a family or couple who needs it the most. Crowd funding platforms such as GoFundMe or YouCaring provide a way to collect donations to ease the financial burden that some caregivers face.
Care for the Caregiver
Caregivers are often preoccupied with the wellbeing of their loved one and often put their own health second. Reminding caregivers to look after themselves is important, especially when it comes to avoiding burnout. Exercising daily and eating healthy meals is crucial for any caregiver. You might consider suggesting counseling, a spa day, or try to provide a way for a caregiver to participate in their favorite hobbies or activities.
Sometimes caregivers need a helping hand, especially when it comes to planning for the future. Find a time to sit down with a caregiver and help them consider what they want for the future, what their plans are, and how you can help them achieve their long-term goals. There are long-term care resources, such as the Family Caregiver Alliance, that help caregivers devise a plan for care when they are no longer able to provide support themselves.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky thank the work caregivers do each day! How have you helped a caregiver?