November is National Family Caregivers month and it’s not only a time to make sure our caregivers know how much we appreciate them, it’s a time to make sure they’re taking a break and taking care of themselves.
Here are a few reminders for caregivers:
- Take care of yourself so you have the energy to be caretaker for others
- Make sure to take respite breaks often. Accept help from others and look for resources in your area. This link can help you find resources in your area: http://archrespite.org/us-map
- Keep medical documents organized so you do not cause yourself unnecessary stress.
- Learn how to best communicate with the doctors so you feel in control.
- Be open to new technologies and medications that may help your loved one.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can! Being a caregiver is a tough job.
Resources are out there and accepting help can alleviate some of the stress in your life. The National Alliance for Caregiving offers great resources for caregivers, including a booklet entitled “Care for the Caregiver.” They also offer a “You Are Not Alone” video series here: http://www.caregiving.org/resources/caregiver-health/
Visit the site to take a self-assessment questionnaire and to learn more about health insurance, Medicare and options for veterans.
Many caregivers have reported that their own personal health has declined as a result of being a caregiver. It’s very important for caregivers to get the medical attention and rest that they need to remain strong. Remind your caregiver today!