November is National Family Caregiver Month and the theme this year is, “Caregiving Around the Clock.” What it means is that family caregivers often forget to care for themselves as they take on more and more responsibilities for another person who needs help.
While there can be joy, purpose, and other benefits to helping out a friend or family member who needs assistance, it’s important to stay balanced so you as a caregiver stay healthy. There are more than 65 million Americans who provide care in the home to a loved one, some are children still in school, others are adults with full-time jobs, they can men or women, or they might be retired. Whether a family caregiver is helping with a bath, managing medications, or just being a companion who comes over to play a game and have a few laughs, all caregivers can benefit from self-care.
Family caregivers might jump in during a crisis or slowly over time find themselves doing more and more for someone who is chronically ill or disabled, and as needs don’t abate, put their own lives on the back burner.
Consider these easy ways to care for yourself as a caregiver:
If you aren’t a family caregiver, use this month’s theme to reach out to a family caregiver and tell them how grateful you are for all that they do.
No matter where you live, there is probably an engaging experience for your loved one who is living with dementia to check out. Read about everything from memory cafes to full-size model ships created to help those who are coping with the symptoms of dementia.
Learn more about what elder abuse is and how to create more security for seniors who might be vulnerable to neglect or others forms of abuse.
Background checks can provide a sense of security for loved ones when they bring a caregiver into the lives of their loved one who needs assistance.