November is National Caregivers month, a time to recognize the compassion, love and care that family caregivers provide for aging, challenged and disabled loved ones. There are more than 40 million family members who have taken on the role of being a caregiver, a role that many were unprepared to accept. From administering medications to managing finances and learning what the term advocate really means, there are moms and dads and sons and daughters across the United States who has taken on the challenging duty of being a caregiver for their disabled child or elderly parent. November is the month to honor these unsung heroes that sacrifice their own identity to support their loved ones. From dawn to dusk, caregivers see to it that their loved ones are comfortable and safe; this means that they rarely have time for themselves. To help celebrate family caregivers and the work they do, here are a few ways to observe their dedication.
Planning and preparing Thanksgiving dinner can be extremely overwhelming for caregivers. If you know a caregiver who could use a helping hand this Thanksgiving, offer to shop for and prepare Thanksgiving dinner for them. Knowing that they will have a break for the day will allow them time to relax and enjoy the holiday.
Offer Your Company
Unfortunately, isolation is one of the most common problems among family caregivers. Many caregivers have no one to talk to about their personal life, and they rarely have time to socialize. They typically avoid social activities because they feel guilty about leaving their loved one for even a brief period. If you know a family caregiver that rarely leaves the house, surprise them with a cup of coffee and conversation, it will have a greater impact than many realize.
Decorate for the Holidays
Holidays are often a difficult time for family caregivers. Many used to enjoy decorating for the holidays, but now find that their days are too full to find time to put up a Christmas tree or send out holiday cards. This year, consider helping a caregiver have a joyful holiday season by helping them decorate their home for the holidays, spending the day baking cookies or offering to help address with their holiday cards.
If you are a family caregiver, this is also the time to recognize yourself and the sacrifices you have made. It’s important to understand that you are not alone; there are agencies that can help you with the day-to-day duties of caring for your loved one. It’s essential that while caring for your loved one, you also care for yourself. Keep in mind that if you neglect your own care, you will not be able to provide care for your loved one, so whether it’s going for a brief walk or sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, take a break when you need it.
There is help available!
To learn more information about home care providers can help with your loved one, contact Meridian Care Services.