November is National Family Caregivers Month! This year’s theme is Caregiving Around the Clock. It’s estimated that over 40 million family caregivers provide $470 billion of unpaid care to their loved ones each year. For many individuals, their role as a caregiver does not turn on and off. They are responsible for the bulk of their loved one’s care and rarely get a break, physically, emotionally or both.
In support of National Caregiver Month, there are a few ways that you can get involved. If you know a caregiver, support them! We will cover some of the ways you can do this below. If you are a caregiver, take advantage of the resources available to you. You can find toolkits, inspiring stories and more at caregiving.org. Also, don’t forget the importance of reaching out for help when you need it, such as by scheduling respite care from reputable senior care services such as Family Private Care.
How to Support a Caregiver in Your Life
Below are some of the ways that you can help a caregiver, not just during the month of November, but always.
Be a Great Listener
Sometimes, all a person needs is to be heard. Caregivers tend to feel alone and isolated in their roles, and the last thing they want to hear is how you might do something “better.” No judging – just give an open ear and compassion to a caregiver in need.
Fill in the Gaps
Offering to help is nice, but most caregivers won’t act on this. Instead, fill in the gaps where the caregiver is struggling. For example, if their home is being neglected because of their caregiving duties, you can help by arranging lawn care or maid services. If it’s doctor appointments that are adding up, offer to come with and take notes.
Be in the Moment
When caregivers feel overburdened, offering to help next week or next month might be too far away. Ask how you can help in the moment. Can you bring this person a hot cup of coffee? Can you stop at the grocery store and pick up a few things? These small favors can turn a caregiver’s day around for the better.
Find Your Angle
If someone has stepped up to help your loved one, don’t get complacent. Too often, adult children or siblings will let one person handle the brunt of the care. But, no one person deserves to take on everything. Find your niche and help out where you can. Even if you live far away, you can help by scheduling appointments online, paying bills and calling the insurance.
Family Private Care offers flexible respite care services. Call us to schedule a break for yourself or someone you care about.