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National Family Caregivers Month 2020

National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month

National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and give praise and support to the 40 million Americans caring for a family member in need. This year’s theme is “Caregiving in Crisis.” Due to COVID-19, many people have found themselves thrust into a caregiving role, some for the first time in their lives.

“Taking care of a loved one with a life-limiting or terminal illness is an incredibly challenging job,” said Kate Mohan. “Because the caregiver must give of themselves completely in order to “do a good job,” they must do everything they can to devote some time and energy to their own well-being on a daily basis. Self-care, in the form of rest, healthy eating, exercise, time outdoors, connecting with friends and other supports is crucial to effective caregiving.”

At Calvary, we see the love, devotion, and commitment of family caregivers every day; in the homes of our patients and right here in our Hospital. Family caregivers honor and affirm the sanctity of human life and the bonds that connect us all.

Not only do caregivers provide companionship, but they also provide the vital support needed for their loved ones to maintain a high quality of life. For family caregivers, their responsibilities don’t end when 5:00 PM rolls around, for family caregivers there’s no opportunity to “clock out.”

Self-Care for Family Caregivers

Self-Care for Family Caregivers

It’s no surprise that caregivers often neglect their own needs in order to care for their loved ones.

“It is essential that caregivers make time every day to attend to their own physical and emotional needs-doing so, will, in fact, make them better caregivers in the long run,” said Ms. Mohan.

Acknowledge when you are overwhelmed and need help.

  • This is often the hardest thing to do.

Seek out other family members and friends who may provide valuable respite for you.

  • Sometimes, you need someone else to sit with or care for your loved one while you take care of other tasks.
  • Make sure to ask other family members and friends for help when needed. Sometimes people are unaware of how much this can help you.

Eat meals regularly and get enough sleep.

  • Just because you’re caring for someone else, doesn’t mean that you should neglect your own needs.

Do meditation, yoga, and other forms of exercise.

  • If you enjoy meditation, yoga, taking walks or working out at the gym, continue to do so regularly.
  • You need the break and you deserve it!

Seek professional help.

  • If you find yourself depressed, agitated, or not behaving like “yourself,” you may benefit from speaking to a therapist or other professional.
  • Reach out to family and friends who may be able to connect you with someone who can help you.

Resources for Family Caregivers

Resources for Family Caregivers

National Family Caregiver Support Program

    • Help for Cancer Caregivers – A collaboration of Anthem, Inc., CancerCare, Caregiver Action Network, Indiana University, and Michigan State University, created this website to share resources and news for caregivers.
    • Support to Caregivers – Programs like the National Family Caregiver Support Program and Lifespan Respite Care Program help with supporting family members who provide assistance or support to older adults and people with disabilities.
    • Family Caregiver Alliance – Established in 2001 as a program of Family Caregiver Alliance, the National Center on Caregiving (NCC) works to advance the development of high-quality, cost-effective policies and programs for caregivers in every state in the country.
    • Caregiver Action Network – Resources from the Caregiver Action Network, including a Peer Forum, a Story Sharing platform, the Family Caregiver Tool Box, and more.
    • Connecting People to Services – Several programs help older adults and people with disabilities find support and services to help them with community living and integration.
    • Eldercare Locator – A public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging connecting you to services for older adults and their families. You can also reach us at 1-800-677-1116.