Celebrating & Honoring National Family Caregivers Month
Being a caregiver for a family member struggling with a mental illness or living with a life-threatening condition can be difficult, exhausting, and frustrating. You may spend hours of the day and night sitting by their bedside, taking them to doctor’s appointments, picking up medical supplies or prescriptions, cooking meals, and participating in several other daily tasks. This month, Direct Care Innovations invites you to celebrate National Family Caregivers Month and honor individuals who invest their time and energy by ensuring their loved ones are comfortable and safe.
What Is National Family Caregivers Month?
National Family Caregivers Month, or NFC, is about finding support and connecting with other family caregivers. Caring for someone with a terminal illness or living with a disability is a selfless act that is vastly underappreciated. The goal behind NFC is to help caregivers find the support they desperately need and connect them with others in the same position. Realizing you are not alone is the first step to getting the support and assistance each caregiver needs.
Why Do We Honor Caregivers?
Thousands of caregivers’ lives are uprooted and drastically changed when addressing the long-term needs of a family member with a life-altering condition. Because of their physical or mental state, family members may not be able to live on their own or make decisions for themselves. Caregivers advocate for, support, and assist their family members in any way they may need.
Many caregivers are greatly affected when helping a child, spouse, or parent full-time. It’s crucial to ensure they take breaks, care for themselves, and reach out for help. By honoring caregivers each November, we help others understand a tiny part of what it’s like to care for an ill or aging loved one.
Ease Caregiving Burdens with These Tips
The tips below are for family caregivers and the individuals who support them:
Ask for Help
Feel free to ask for help. People may want to assist you and make your life easier, but they may not know what you need. As a caregiver, ask for specific things such as help with grocery shopping, help with yard work or shoveling snow, and spending time with your family member while you take a much-needed break. Families and friends of caregivers can be supportive by simply being there when they need someone to talk to, sharing a meal with them, or giving them time away from the house while you keep an eye on their loved one.
Advocate for your child, spouse, or parent by preparing for each medical, therapy, or social work appointment. You are an essential part of your family member’s treatment. Ask specific questions regarding their treatment. Keep track of each appointment by using a calendar that works for you. Use a journal or notebook to record information about appointments, procedures, prescription medications, various doctors, and more. If you have experience navigating the long-term care of a loved one, offer to help them with this often exhausting but necessary task.
Connect with Others
No one can do this on their own, which is why there are several ways to connect with other caregivers who have similar experiences. Take advantage of in-person support groups, online groups and forums, and more. As a supportive friend or family member, help the caregiver in your life find these connection points and offer to attend a support group with them or encourage them to connect with other caregivers online.
At DCI, we are grateful for individuals who care for family members and loved ones with a chronic illness, living with a disability, or suffering from a terminal disease. We can help your agency make life easier for caregivers with our business management and healthcare training software. Our seamless software can run every aspect of your business, from payroll time and attendance to electronic visit verification. Call (480) 295-3307 or request a sales demo today.Source: “#CaregiversConnect 2023 NFC Month Campaign.” Web article. Caregiver Action Network. National Family Caregivers Association. Web. 02 Nov. 2023.