November is National Family Caregivers Month. This is a time to celebrate the contribution of those volunteer friends and family members who support a loved one with their health or managing a disability. We’re thankful for the contributions of the more than 44 million Americans who care for a family member, friend, or neighbor. Join us as we celebrate the contribution of caregivers and find better ways to support them as they care.
10 Facts Caregivers Should Know During National Family Caregivers Month
As part of those efforts, here are 10 facts that we believe every caregiver should know and remember this month:
1. Caregiving is costly.
Nearly half of working caregivers report that caregiving expenses have depleted most — or even all — of their savings. (National Alliance for Caregiving)
2. Help is available.
If you do decide that your loved one needs more than you alone can provide, A Place for Mom can help. Our Senior Living Advisors work one-on-one with families to help them find the most appropriate care for their parent or senior loved one. Read more about Senior Living Advisors who can help in your area.
3. Knowledge can make your job easier.
A National Alliance for Caregiving survey found that 73% of caregivers said that praying helps them to cope with the stress. 44% said that reading books about caregiving and visiting supportive websites helps them not only to manage their daily frustration, but also gives them a sense of community. (National Alliance for Caregiving)
4. You are America’s #1 long-term care provider.
Family caregivers provide a staggering 90% of long-term care in America. (The National Academy of Medicine)
5. You are not alone.
More than 65 million Americans care for their aging or disabled loved ones on a yearly basis. (National Alliance for Caregiving)
6. You can take a break.
Just because you’ve committed to caring for a parent or senior loved one doesn’t mean you can’t take a break. Respite care is short-term care, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, that can be provided at a local senior living community or even in the home. Adult daycare is another similar option. These services allow family caregivers to “recharge” with the knowledge that their loved one is safe and sound.
7. You have limits.
Despite the demonstrated perseverance and strength of family caregivers, each of us has limits. It’s important to recognize when our loved one has declined to a point that professional care is the best option.
8. You have someone to talk to.
Caregiver support groups meet throughout the U.S. For those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association maintains a database of support groups. General caregiving support groups that aren’t specifically focused on memory loss can be found by contacting your local hospital. Furthermore, there are many online support groups for caregivers.
9. You have to care for yourself first.
If you’re not keeping yourself happy and healthy, it’s doubtful that you will be able to do your best for your parent or senior loved one. Review the “Caregiver Bill of Rights” and remember to take care of yourself.
10. Your work is valuable.
The value of the unpaid care these 65 million caregivers provide is estimated to be worth $375 billion. (National Alliance for Caregiving)
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