Every year, millions of Americans take on one of the most challenging tasks in the world: caring for friends and family members who suffer from physical and mental diseases. They assist with daily duties such as bathing, cooking, and shopping, interacting with medical specialists, managing medications, planning schedules, providing emotional support, and others. Caregivers frequently receive little sleep, are stressed, and have their own health issues—it can be tiring! Caregiving may be both a loving and a necessary profession at times.
Family caregivers and what do they do
Family caregivers care for and support family members who cannot care for themselves due to illness, injury, or disability. The care receiver may require some degree of support with everyday living tasks and other aspects of life due to a permanent or temporary situation, physical or developmental disability, or any combination of these conditions.
They may provide different types of support.
- Personal hygiene, bathing, dressing, and toileting
- Getting into and out of bed or a chair, as well as walking
- Preparation of meals and feeding
- Organizing and administering medicines
- Coordinating and attending appointments and also keeping medical records and information
- Managing treatments and therapies
- Organizing nursing and other medical assistance
Other Life Management Activities
- Buying food, clothing, and other necessities
- Providing or arranging transportation
- Managing finances, paying bills, and making long-term plans
- Housekeeping and home upkeep
- Managing Interactions with others
Some facts & figures about caregivers in 2023
- Family, friends, and other unpaid caregivers provide 83% of the assistance given to older individuals in the United States.
- Family caregivers and other unpaid caregivers provide nearly $340 billion worth of care.
- Approximately 30% of caregivers are 65 or older.
- Almost half of all caregivers (48%) who assist older persons do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
What is National Family Caregivers Month?
In the US, November is National Family Caregivers Month. It serves to draw attention to the nation’s over 50 million family caregivers and their challenging work. We raise awareness of the societal worth of caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month and ask for more support.
Even while we should celebrate family caregivers every single day, this is a moment to honor and commemorate caregivers on a national level, as well as to educate communities, raise awareness of caregiving-related concerns, and seek to strengthen the support system for caregivers across the country.
Why should family caregivers be acknowledged?
The value that family caregivers bring to society is immense. Their services frequently allow their loved ones to stay at home. It often covers a hole that would otherwise cost an enormous amount of money.
Caregiving can be time-consuming, repetitive, physically demanding, and emotionally draining. Many caregivers put their own health at risk to tend to their loved ones.
November is caregiver month, and family caregivers deserve recognition for the challenging and crucial work they undertake for their families.
Why does National Family Caregivers Month matter?
Caregivers need love!
Taking care of someone while working a second job can be exceptionally taxing. A significant portion of caring is unpaid. During National Family Caregivers Month in November, provide caregivers options for advocacy, self-care, and stress relief. Supporting caregivers while they take care of others is the focus of the month. The theme for this year is “Caring Around the Clock.”
Show appreciation to family caregivers this Family Caregivers Month!
Here are six things you can do to support and encourage a family caregiver during National Family Caregivers Month in 2023. During Family Caregiver Awareness Month, make an extra effort to make life a little easier for the family caregivers you know.
Check In Regularly
Allow them to share their stories without judging or providing advice. Tell them how much you appreciate the work they are doing for the family and the community. Remember that you are not required to solve their problems. A simple, judgment-free conversation space is frequently all the help people need.
Taking a break from work, even if it’s only once a week, can be beneficial for caregivers. Spend time with the loved one they care for during the morning while they conduct errands or have some alone time. Your time is a priceless gift.
Be specific in your offers.
Avoid using phrases like “Let me know if you need anything.” Instead, make a particular offer of assistance. It can be difficult for caregivers to ask for help when they are overwhelmed, so the more specific you can be, the better.
Help with chores
Provide a meal, tidy the home, assist with laundry, tend to the yard, or take on any other household chores that are difficult for caregivers to complete. It relieves their burden and makes them feel encouraged.
You can express appreciation for their service by sending them a kind card, text, or even a modest gift. Express gratitude for their efforts and acknowledge the excellent work they are doing.
Keep inviting them
Continually sending invitations to events, even if you know the caregiver cannot go, will help them feel less alone and show them that you appreciate their presence. Additionally, you never know when they might succeed in making it happen!
Important for Caregivers!
Learn how to cope.
During National Family Caregivers Month, a wealth of important information is available to assist caregivers in managing their demanding and sometimes thankless work. As a caregiver, you should take care of your own health, accept assistance from others, develop excellent communication skills with doctors, and be receptive to new assistive technology that can ease your workload.
Assess yourself for depression.
It can be heartbreaking to witness someone change significantly as a result of disease or to watch a parent age. Spend some time keeping an eye on your health. Consult a specialist about depression if you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, exercising, or feeling more withdrawn. Anyone can suffer from it at any time. Feeling overwhelmed is not a sign of weakness.
Donate Today to Support Caregivers of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
Caregiving is a demanding task that often leaves the caregivers physically, emotionally, and financially unstable. The least we can do is to try to alleviate some of their burden by supporting them via donations.
Alzheimer’s Research Association is a non-profit organization committed to supporting caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients via helpful resources, tips, and financial grants. You can help us in this endeavor by donating here: https://www.alzra.org/donate-now/.
- National Family Caregivers Month November 2023. Unseen. https://caregiverdoc.com/national-family-caregivers-month/. Accessed: 31st Oct, 2023.
- National Family Caregivers Month – November 2023. National Today. https://nationaltoday.com/national-family-caregivers-month/. Accessed: 31st Oct, 2023.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer’s Association. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures. Accessed: 31st Oct, 2023.
- November is National Family Caregivers Month. MHN. https://www.mhn.com/members/news/november-is-national-family-caregivers-month.html. Published Online: 2nd Nov, 2023. Accessed: 31st Oct, 2023.