Did you know that 6 out of 10 family caregivers work full or part-time in addition to juggling their caregiving responsibilities at home? Because of this many family caregivers can feel their role is a 24/7 job. Caregiving can be a rewarding experience, but it is also physically and emotionally demanding. The stress of dealing with caregiving responsibilities leads to a higher risk of health issues among the nation’s 90 million family caregivers. That is why the theme for this year’s National Family Caregiver month is Caregiving Around the Clock.
So what can you do during November? Join the millions of caregivers this month and spread the word.
Raise Awareness About How to Care for Yourself as a Caregiver
If you’re a caregiver, your well-being should be a priority every day. Follow the suggested steps below to care for yourself, stay healthy, and help you manage your time:
- Make sure you get enough sleep on a regular basis (ideally 7-8 hours every night). Set a bedtime and stop what you are doing. It can wait until tomorrow. Hit the hay!
- Maintain a healthy diet. Try to cut out sodas and foods with high levels of sugar. Just these small changes will help you have more energy. Here are some tips for eating well.
- Put aside at LEAST one hour for yourself a day to either read a book, talk a walk or exercise, watch some TV, etc. You deserve this time to focus on your needs!
Educate Loved Ones on How to Recognize, if They Truly Are a Caregiver
You may not realize it, but even just spending a couple of hours a day with someone or coordinating their care is considered caring for them. The delivery of care is not only tied to medicine, but encompasses all the essential components of:
- Spending time with a loved one in need of assistance
- Helping to clean, update, or modify a home
- Bringing someone to-and-from the doctor’s office
- Preparing healthy meals on a regular basis
To understand why it is important to recognize yourself as a caregiver, click here.
Educate Family and Friends on How to Find Caregiver Resources
If you are a caregiver, you should know that there are several federal, state, and local departments dedicated to providing caregivers with the resources they need. We’ve researched many organizations, including the Area Agency on Aging. To find out more, click here.
Spread Caregiving Facts to Educate Friends, Neighbors, Policy Makers, and More
Making sure everyone around you knows the scope of caregiving is important. Spread the word about the eye-opening facts below (source):
- Unpaid caregivers provide an estimated 90% of the U.S. long-term care services.
- An estimated 21% of households in the U.S. are impacted by caregiving responsibilities
- Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months.
- Family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care.
Throughout the month of November, take a moment for yourself if you are caregiver. In fact, take several moments for yourself and recognize all that you do. Make sure to recognize other caregivers too. Need some inspiration? Here are 7 Ways to Thank a Family Caregiver.
From all of us at Caring Village, thank you for all that you do as a caregiver. You are so important and appreciated!