November is National Family Caregivers Month, a tradition that began as National Family Caregivers Week in the mid-1990s. This is a time to celebrate the contribution of those volunteer friends and family members who support a loved one with their health or managing a disability. The importance of family caregivers has gained recognition over the years and the National Family Caregivers awareness week has now grown into an awareness month, due to former President Barack Obama’s proclamation in 2012.
“Across America, daughters and sons balance the work of caring for aging parents with the demands of their careers and raising their own children. Spouses and partners become caregivers to the ones they love even as they navigate their own health challenges… All of them give selflessly to bring comfort, social engagement, and stability to those they love. National Family Caregivers Month is a time to reflect on the compassion and dedication that family caregivers embody every day. As we offer our appreciation and admiration for their difficult work, let us also extend our own offers of support to them and their loved ones.”
MedPro Staffing is proud to honor family caregivers across the U.S. throughout National Family Caregivers Month and beyond. As part of those efforts, here are 10 facts that we believe every caregiver should know and remember this month
1. Caregiving is costly.
Nearly half of working caregivers report that caregiving expenses have depleted most, or even all, of their savings. (National Alliance for Caregiving)
2. Help is available.
If you do decide that your loved one needs more than you alone can provide, there are several senior and assisted living facilities available to help. The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is dedicated to serving the needs of the assisted living community through national advocacy, education, networking, professional development, and quality initiatives. Read more about NCAL to find help in your area.
3. Knowledge can make your job easier.
The National Alliance for Caregiving offers a variety of materials to support family caregivers, ranging from booklets and tip sheets to webcasts and conference materials which are all available in the resources section of their website.
4. You are America’s #1 long-term care provider.
Family caregivers provide a staggering 90% of long-term care in America. (The National Academy of Medicine)
5. You are not alone.
More than 65 million Americans care for their aging or disabled loved ones on a yearly basis. (National Alliance for Caregiving)
6. You can take a break.
Just because you have committed to caring for a parent or senior loved one does not mean you can’t take a break. Respite Care is short-term care, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, that can be provided at a local senior living community or even in the home. Adult daycare is another similar option. These services allow family caregivers to “recharge” with the knowledge that their loved one is safe and sound.
7. You have limits.
Despite the demonstrated perseverance and strength of family caregivers, each of us has limits. It is important to recognize when our loved one has declined to a point that professional care is the best option.
8. You have someone to talk to.
Caregiving associations and support groups provide additional resources to help family caregivers address and cope with the challenges of caring for a loved one as well as provide a sense of community.
9. You have to care for yourself first.
If you are not keeping yourself happy and healthy, it is doubtful that you will be able to do your best for your parent or senior loved one. Review the “Caregiver Bill of Rights” and remember to take care of yourself.
10. Your work is valuable.
The value of the unpaid care these 65 million caregivers provide is estimated to be worth $375 billion. (National Alliance for Caregiving)
We are thankful for the contributions of the more than 44 million Americans who care for a family member or friend. Join us as we celebrate the contribution of caregivers and find better ways to support them as they care.