Few people work harder for their loved ones than family caregivers who assist aging relatives. With millions of family caregivers in the United States who deserve recognition for their selfless service, it’s no wonder that November is designated as National Family Caregivers Month. It’s a time for all Americans to recognize the good deeds that family caregivers do, and to provide information and support for them.
Who Needs Family Caregivers?
Millions of elderly adults have the desire to age in their own home, but numerous physical or mental afflictions can interfere with their ability to live alone. From arthritis and osteoporosis to the after-effects of a stroke to Alzheimer’s disease, chronic conditions can prevent seniors from being safe and healthy at home. Even seniors who can do several daily tasks on their own may still struggle in other areas, requiring assistance to take care of themselves and their homes.
Family caregivers are those family members who step up and take over the daily duties that their elderly relatives cannot. This can range from handling finances and medical affairs to assisting with meal preparation to assisting, bathing, toileting, laundry, and home maintenance. As the elderly adult’s health declines, the amount of time the family caregivers spend with them increases.
Family Caregiving is Rewarding but Difficult
National Family Caregivers Month is designed to shine the spotlight onto all the good things that family caregivers do for senior Americans. National organizations and associations provide resources for them to use to make their duties easier and get the best help for their aging loved ones. Family caregivers need to connect with resources that specialize in senior services, elder care and medical advancements that can keep seniors happier and healthier.
National Family Caregivers Month is also designed to help family caregivers feel supported and point out any warning signs that they need some help of their own. Family caregivers have a very high risk of developing chronic stress, burnout, and depression. That’s because caregiving in any form is often frustrating and full of worry. It’s difficult to see an elderly relative decline physically and mentally, and as their needs increase, so do the demands on the family caregiver.
In-Home Care Provider Services Help
One of the most important pieces of information that family caregivers can gain from National Family Caregivers Month is to help them decide the appropriate level of care for their aging relative. Many are looking closely at in-home care provider services. These trained professionals come to the senior’s home and assist them with numerous tasks, from getting ready in the morning to preparing meals to light housekeeping. In-home care gives the family caregiver respite and time away to take care of their own needs.
There’s no doubt that National Family Caregivers Month is an excellent time for organizations to connect with individuals as they work together to care for the most vulnerable population in the country. Sharing information and experience results in better health for both family caregivers and their aging loved ones.