November is National Family Caregivers Month, which is a month dedicated to recognizing and honoring family caregivers across the nation.
Every year a different theme is selected for National Family Caregivers Month by the Caregiver Action Network. The theme for 2019 is #BeCareCurious, urging the friends and family members of caregivers to be curious about caregiving, but also urging caregivers to be curious about their loved one’s goals and treatment.
Read on to learn more about family caregivers month, how you can help, and what you can do to get involved.
National Family Caregivers Month: History
You may be wondering why National Family Caregivers Month was established. One of the main reasons was to promote caregiver awareness. Being a caregiver is a tough job and can easily lead to caregiver burnout. Those who do full-time or even part-time caregiving need family caregivers’ support as well as understanding.
Other reasons this month was created include:
- To celebrate the hard work of family caregivers
- To drum up support for family caregivers
- To educate family caregivers on how to take care of themselves
Caregivers may often not know when they’re reaching burnout, so it’s important to educate them as well in the tactics of self-awareness and self-care.
National Family Caregivers Month: #BeCareCurious
The theme of #BeCareCurious means several different things. First, you can raise caregiver awareness through the hashtag when using social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. This theme also wants caregivers to think about:
- Treatment options. Think about whether your loved one is responding well to treatment and whether you need to reevaluate treatment plans.
- Goals of your loved one. Think about the goals your loved one may have for him or herself, as well as their desires to live a life that’s as healthy as possible.
- A long-term care plan. Whether your loved one is at home or at present in the hospital, it’s time to reevaluate long-term plans so that they receive the best care.
- Coverage. Ask as many questions as you can about Medicare or other types of insurance coverages to ensure that your loved one is getting all the services they are entitled to.
- Research. Research your loved one’s condition through articles and by using the internet. Use reliable sources to become more knowledgeable about your loved one’s condition.
National Family Caregivers Month: Family Caregivers Statistics and Support
Over 90 million Americans are family caregivers, with a large number having to provide care on a 24/7 basis. Family caregivers are often working mothers of school-age children, forcing them to juggle work responsibilities with caregiving responsibilities. It can be so difficult to balance that family caregivers often have to cut back on their hours at work, take unpaid leave, or even quit jobs completely.
Family caregivers statistics report that six out of ten family caregivers work either full-time or part-time jobs in addition to providing care to their loved one.
Managing medications is one of the most time-consuming responsibilities of being a caregiver. Statistics show the family caregiver is the one managing medications, approximately 70 percent of the time, depending on the severity of the condition. Managing medications can be a round-the-clock job, which can be exceedingly tiring.
Caregiver Goals of the Month
One of the goals of National Family Caregivers Month is to educate caregivers on how to better themselves, and the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) has some specific recommendations for round-the-clock care providers.
Nutrition is key to maintaining the strength, energy, and positivity required to provide all-day care. Caregivers should always set aside time to enjoy a good meal.
Moreover, CAN reminds caregivers to take time for themselves in general, not just during National Family Caregivers Month, but every month. It helps to rest and recharge in order to provide the same level of care day in and day out.
When a caregiver is in good health, their loved one can stay in their own home up to three times longer, allowing for aging in place comfortably.
To find out more about National Family Caregivers Month, or to learn how mobility products can be life-changing for your loved one, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both patients and their caregivers to live their best lives possible.