November Is National Family Caregivers Month
Each year, more and more Americans are caring for a loved one with a chronic condition, disability, or the frailties of old age. This month, celebrate the approximately 90 million U.S. family caregivers!
Caregiving can have many rewards. For most caregivers, being there when a loved one needs you is a core value and something you wish to provide. But a shift in roles and emotions is almost certain. It is natural to feel angry, frustrated, exhausted, alone or sad. Caregiver stress – the emotional and physical stress of caregiving – is common.
It’s so important to take advantage of the many resources and tools available to help caregivers provide care for their loved ones. To help manage caregiver stress:
- Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
- Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
- Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
- Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
- Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
- Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
- Caregiving is hard work – so take respite breaks often.
- Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
- Make sure legal documents are in order.
- Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!