National Family Caregiver Month is celebrated every November. This is a time for us to recognize and honor family caregivers everywhere! In addition to celebrating the selfless efforts of our caregivers, it allows us an opportunity to:
• Raise awareness of family caregiver issues. There are plenty of ways to advocate for our caregivers, reach out to find out how!
• Educate the community on what to look for and how to recognize a family caregiver in their lives.
• Increase support for family caregivers in our community.
The theme this year is Caregiving Happens. As a caregiver, you may believe that you should be able to “do it all.” Seeking help or taking a break does not make you a failure. It’s important to remember that respite breaks benefit both the caregiver and the loved one they are caring for.
If you are a caregiver, take time to breathe, recharge your batteries, and refill your cup – in other words, take time for yourself.
• Go for a walk in the park or your neighborhood
• Accept help from a friend or neighbor
• Watch a movie
• Go for a drive
• Spend time with a friend
• Try a new recipe
• Read some poetry
• Pour out your feelings in a recording then erase it (letting it go)
It’s normal to be apprehensive about trying something new. If you want more ideas, call our office at (920) 448-4300 and ask for the Caregiver Specialist. We are happy to provide you with other ideas and tools.
Chances are, you know a caregiver! Here are some simple ways you can make a huge difference in their life:
• Offer a helping hand by walking their dog, mowing their lawn, raking leaves, or offering a ride to an appointment. An act of kindness can go a long way.
• Provide them with a homemade meal. Prepare some freezer-friendly dinners or shop and package fresh ingredients.
• Encourage them to take care of themselves. Being a caregiver can be physically and emotionally demanding.
• Ask them how they are doing and give them ample time to talk. Sometimes the best thing we can do is sit and listen.
• Share your heartfelt words and write them in a note or send them a text.
• Invite them to outings. Even if they turn you down, keep inviting them so they know you are thinking about them.
• Send them a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
• Encourage them to check out a support group and go with them for the first session.
Doing any one of these things for the caregiver in your life is a thoughtful gesture that will truly make a difference.
During the month of November, we challenge you to help a family caregiver in your life, even if that caregiver is YOU. Together, we can provide support to the caregivers in our community.