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November is National Family Caregiver Month, a time to pause and acknowledge the sacrifices made by caregivers of a family member. Each year has a theme, and this year's theme is called: "Caregiving Around the Clock," according to the Caregiver Action Network.
Caregiving is a tough job. This November, we remember the people who lovingly give baths, clean houses, shop for, and comfort the millions of elderly and ill people who are friends and loved ones.
Did you know? Caregivers tend to have increased risk for health issues from chronic stress, isolation, and depression, thus they need a moment or two to take some time away and recharge, or in other words, respite.
Respite is the key to your own well being. It protects your physical, emotional, and mental health, strengthens family relationships, prevents burn out, and allows your loved one to remain at home up to three times longer. Respite is actually one of the most frequently requested support services for family caregivers.
R: is for rest and relaxation. Family caregivers need to relax, so that they can be refreshed as a caregiver in order to handle their many responsibilities.
E: is for energize. Caregivers work 24/7, around the clock. Respite is more than getting a few hours off. It is necessary to help them re-energize, reduce stress, and better provide care for your loved one.
S: is for sleep. Caregivers often have little or disordered sleep. It's important for them to address sleep problems and insomnia before they take a toll on their health.
P: is for programs that can help you. For caregivers, respite care, whether inside or outside of the home - can be challenging to find, but there are programs that exist to help you.
I: is for imagination. If you're a caregiver, one of the best things you could do for yourself is to let your mind run free. Read a book, see a movie, journal, listen to music, do whatever you can to turn your mind silent for a moment. Refreshing your mind will help you become a better caregiver.
T: is for "take ten." If you're a caregiver, don't feel guilty for taking ten minutes to yourself. Caregivers need those few minutes to temporarily disengage.
E: is for exhale. Taking the time to simply breathe in and then exhale can help lower anxiety, increase focus, and increase vitality of the caregiver.
1. Over hald of family caregivers are women.
2. One of out of every 4 caregivers reports diminished family relationships because of caregiving a loved one.
3. Most caregivers work outside the home either part or full time, in addition to their caregiving responsibilities.
4. Over a million American young people, aged 8 to 18, care for an adult relative on a daily basis.
1. Caregivers need love, too!
Caregiving while still holding down an outside job is exhausting. Much of caregiving is unpaid. National Family Caregivers Month provides resources for self-care, advocacy, and de-stressing for our caregivers. This month is dedicated to supporting caregivers as they care for others.
2. Learn how to cope.
National Family Caregivers Month features a lot of vital information to help caregivers cope with a tough, and sometimes thankless job. There are tips for caregivers, such as how to take care of your own health, accepting offers of help from others, learning the skills to speak effectively with doctors, and being open to new, assistive technologies that can lighten your load.
3. Check yourself for depression.
Watching a parent age or seeing someone change drastically due to illness can be devastating. Take some time to monitor your own wellbeing. If you are not sleeping well, exercising, or feel yourself becoming reclusive, speak to a professional about depression. It can hit anyone at anytime. There's no shame in feeling overwhelmed.
Mountainside Medical Equipment would like to take a moment to honor and thank those family members, friends, neighbors, and others who devote countless hours to providing care to their relatives, loved ones, and patients in general. You all do so much to help keep our families and communities strong and healthy.
If you're a caregiver or know a caregiver, let them know how much they're appreciated. Help make their lives a little easier by visiting our website at www.mountainside-medical.com, as we have many Home Care products that are beneficial for any caregiver. See them all here, or give us a call at 1-888-687-4334 for more information.