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 who provide countless hours of care to their loved ones?
The national theme for this year’s special observation is, “Be Care Curious,” with an emphasis on encouraging caregivers to ask questions, explore options, and share in the care decisions that affect the health and well-being of their loved ones. This can include your loved one’s goals, treatment options, research, the care plan, and insurance coverage.
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.
The AAA7 provides help to caregivers through the Caregiver Support Program, which 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.
Did you know that our Agency also has a special program available to help family caregivers in their caregiving role? Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-week program that provides caregivers with a wealth of self-care tools to: reduce personal stress; change negative self-talk; communicate their needs to family members and healthcare or service providers; communicate effectively in challenging situations; recognize the messages in their emotions; deal with difficult feelings; and make tough caregiver decisions. Class participants also receive a copy of The Caregiver Handbook that has been developed specifically for the class.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an evidence-based, self-care educational program for family caregivers that has proven to be highly effective in helping caregiver participants learn to minimize the potentially negative impacts of caregiving through discussions and classroom work that emphasize self-care and empowerment. The program is offered several times through the year in our ten-county district area. If you are interested in learning more or would like to add your name to the list for when a class comes near you, please call the AAA7 at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nina R. Keller is the executive director for the Area Agency on Aging District 7.