NOVEMBER CELEBRATES NATIONAL FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH.
Across America, sons, daughters and spouses balance work and family life while dealing with the everyday demands of being a caregiver.
National Family Caregivers month gives us a chance for reflection on the dedication that family caregivers provide. They are truly the unsung heroes of today.
HERE ARE SOME QUICK FACTS ABOUT CAREGIVING IN THE UNITED STATES:
(American Society on Aging, 2019)
- 65.7 million caregivers make up 29 percent of the U.S. adult population.
- Those 65.7 million people spend 20 hours a week providing that care.
- That care is valued at $375 billion a year, which is almost twice as much as is spent on homecare and nursing home services combined.
- An estimated 66 percent of caregivers are female. One-third take care of two or more people.
- The average age of a female caregiver is 48.
As a caregiver, there are many different roles that must be played. Caregivers take on responsibilities such as taking their loved one to the doctor and acting as their advocate, managing medications, as well as assisting with bathing, dressing and handling other physical and emotional needs.
Having to handle all of these responsibilities, while still dealing with their own personal needs can be overwhelming. National Family Caregivers Month is a perfect time to provide resources and tools to caregivers that can help to lessen stress and simplify some of their responsibilities to ultimately lighten their caregiving load.
RESOURCES AND TOOLS TO PROVIDE:
- Provide AARP’s Caregiving Planning Guide for Families, which is available for download in multiple languages.
- Educate caregivers on Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) and how they can automatically alert a call center operator in the event of an emergency. This can greatly reduce stress on a caregiver who may worry that something could happen to a loved one while they are away.
- Provide information on different types of medication reminders. Some options that can help reduce caregiver stress are:
- Medfolio Pill Box
- Provide a listing of iPhone apps that can either provide assistance or entertainment. You can check out a listing of some apps here: i Phone Apps
By providing some of these resources, it can ease the caregiver’s burden and help to improve the lives of seniors.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO GET MORE INVOLVED IN NATIONAL FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH, HERE IS A LIST OF OTHER WAYS THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
- Locate a community care center or community space and organize a Caregivers Count awareness event.
- Offer to give a speech or talk at your local community center or church to educate on National Family Caregivers Month; all while getting the word out about your own services within the community.
- Attend local town hall meetings and ask your representative how she or he will promote legislation to will help businesses develop more family-friendly caregiver policies.
- Post on Social Media that November is National Caregivers Month and encourage your personal and professional network to acknowledge the caregivers in their families and communities.
- Share great resources about caregiving on your social media channels.
Medical Alert System Reviews: (2019) Retrieved from https://www.theseniorlist.com/medical-alert-systems/reviews/
Prepare to Care: A Caregiving Planning Guide for Families.(2019) Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/prepare-to-care-planning-guide/
Show You Care: Celebrate National Caregivers Month. (2019) Retrieved from https://www.asaging.org/blog/show-you-care-celebrate-national-family-caregivers-mo