November 12, 2015
During National Caregivers Month, Five Ways to Show Support
November is National Caregivers Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the 90 million Americans who dedicate themselves wholly to the care of another.
This Thanksgiving, take a moment to appreciate these children, grandchildren, spouses, siblings, neighbors and friends who take on the responsibility of providing for and protecting those that can no longer do so for themselves.
The stresses that come with this responsibility include the everyday struggle of having to take care of another individual, and oftentimes constant worry about the loved one in their care.
This holiday season, let’s make an effort to help out the caregivers in our lives and show them that the work they do day in and day out is noticed and appreciated. Here are a few ways to relieve the stress they face:
- Ask How You Can Help. Sometimes asking for help can be hard. Ask the caregivers in your life what you can do to help them balance their busy schedules. It may be as simple as a household chore, or a more complicated matter like planning for the future financially and otherwise — no matter what it may be, they will appreciate any time and effort you put in to helping make their job a little easier.
- Offer Respite. Offer the caregivers in your family some time for themselves this holiday season. Rest and relaxation are two of the most valuable things when you are in a position of responsibility and stress. This can be done by inviting them over for dinner, offering to take their place caring for their loved one for a day or even just giving them a few minutes of rest while you take care of minor household responsibilities.
- Show Your Appreciation. Let them know you are grateful for what they do. This can be as simple as a phone call or a visit. Telling them in words that you notice all the hard work they put in every day means more to them than you may think. Sending flowers or a card are also ways to brighten their day and remind them that their work has not been forgotten.
- Listen. Ask them how they are doing, and be sure to actually listen. Oftentimes, simply talking things out can help relieve stress. Feelings of isolation are frequently associated with caregiving, and a caring friend or family member that is there to listen can make all the difference.
- Arrange for Help. Whether it be temporary or long-term, try to get together with some family and friends and divide up tasks to help them with their routine tasks. Mowing the lawn, doing dishes and laundry, arranging for transportation and helping schedule appointments may seem like small tasks but, in addition to their caregiving responsibilities, can easily become overwhelming.
If you are a caregiver:
For resources for things like understanding Medicare, Alzheimer’s, depression and more, visit the Family Caregivers Toolbox here provided by Caregiver Action Network.
And create a free Healthspek account at www.healthspek.com to help manage everything from medical records and doctors appointments to legal documents and more on one mobile platform accessible to you 24/7.
While you are showing your appreciation for caregivers, don’t forget to take the time show love to those in their care as well, who may still be suffering from the loss of their independence.
Healthspek is a free personal healthcare tool run on a mobile Web platform. It is available for iPads through the App Store and accessible through the website on all PC and other mobile devices. To learn more, visit www.healthspek.com.
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