National Family Caregiver Month is celebrated each year in November.
In what better month could we express our gratitude for the 90 million family caregivers nationwide that provide countless hours of care to their loved ones?
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) would like to thank all family caregivers for the selfless acts you do each day. We encourage you to make caregiving for yourself a priority as a caregiver.
In observation of the month, below are “10 Tips for Family Caregivers” we wanted to share from the Caregiver Action Network (www.caregiveraction.org). Share these with a family caregiver who could benefit from the information:
1) Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone.
2) Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
3) Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
4) Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
5) Caregiving is hard work, so take respite breaks often.
6) Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
7) Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
8) Organize medical information so that it’s up to date and easy to find.
9) Make sure legal documents are in order.
10) Give yourself credit for doing the best you can.
The Caregiver Support Program at the AAA7 is designed to assist caregivers with finding answers about how their caregiving role impacts their life and where to find resources and services to decrease caregiver stress. Caregivers may be caring for an older adult, their adult child with a disability, or the caregiver may be a grandparent caring for their grandchildren or non-relative child. Services include assessments, training, information and assistance, supplemental services, respite, as well as answers and counseling. For more information about the Caregiver Support Program through the Area Agency on Aging District 7, please call 1-800-582-7277.
Pamela K. Matura is Executive Director Area Agency on Aging District 7.