November is National Family Caregivers Month Recognition Event. The Theme is Respite: Care for the Caregivers.
Many millions of people serve as informal caregivers in their family and the ranks of family caregivers are growing every year. Family caregivers play a pivotal role in caring for and tending to the needs and well-being of their loved ones. This National Family Caregiver Month is intended to put a focus on these often unsung heroes.
Tips for Caregivers
- Seek support from other caregivers. Consider joining a support group. You are not alone!
- Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one — see your health care provider regularly, get a flu shot, eat well and try to build in time for exercise
- Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
- Keep learning. Knowledge is empowering. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to provide care, and to be an advocate for your loved one and for yourself.
- Try to stay positive and find opportunities to bring laughter and joy into your life. Watch a funny movie. Listen to music that moves you.
- Take breaks whenever possible — caregiving is hard work.
- Be aware of your mood — find ways to relax or seek professional help if you are feeling stressed, depressed or overwhelmed.
- Find and take advantage of community services like adult day programs, home health services, home-delivered meals, homemakers and home repair services, respite care, and transportation services.
- Get connected and seek social support. Set aside time each week for connecting, even if it's just a walk with a friend.
- Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
For more information on Caregiving, visit www.mass.gov/elders/caregiver-support.