If you have ever felt unrecognized and underappreciated in your role as family caregiver, this month is for you! November is National Family Caregivers Month, an occasion to applaud the tireless work and dedication you invest in making sure a loved one’s life is the best it can be.
While It’s Not Always Easy, You Are Making a Difference
Take the opportunity to think about what a day in the life of family caregiving involves. Even though self-care for family caregivers is important, your first thoughts are never for yourself, but for the overall health of someone you love. Because of you, an older family member:
- Has a companion to brighten each day through conversations, outings, and fun activities
- Can enjoy healthy meals
- Obtains the help and support needed to accomplish the daily tasks of living that may have become challenging to take care of on their own
- Never has to be worried about facing the challenges of aging alone
- And so much more
Caregiving is a rewarding but challenging endeavor, and we salute you for your selfless work.
You’re in Good Company
As reported in an AARP study, unpaid family caregiving amounts to more than $600 billion in care. This mind-blowing statistic equates to 38 million family caregivers who care for a loved one an average of 18 hours per week. To put that into perspective, this far surpasses the $433 billion spent annually in out-of-pocket healthcare costs by everyone in the United States.
But You Cannot Do It All Alone
Family caregivers often feel as though there isn’t anyone who knows the older loved one better than they do, and therefore no one can provide the same level of care. Although the first part of this may very well be true, the reality is that trying to meet all of a loved one’s care needs independently isn’t healthy for either the care receiver or the caregiver.
In order to provide the best care for a loved one, it’s critical to prioritize self-care for family caregivers. Feeling burned out and worn down leads to lower patience levels, less attention to detail, and increased frustration and stress—a recipe for a number of negative effects, including:
- Relationship problems with other family members and friends who also need your time and attention
- Self-medication through unhealthy means
- An increased risk of injury to the senior from a medication mishap, fall, or other accident
- Sleeping problems
- Resentment, anger, and other complicated emotions
- Caregiver depression and other serious health conditions
- And much more
The very best way you can celebrate National Family Caregivers Month is by acknowledging the need for support to allow yourself to take time to care for yourself. At-Home Care Company’s respite care services are the perfect way to obtain a healthy life balance while ensuring the high quality care a loved one deserves.
We help family caregivers like you prioritize their own health and wellbeing without compromising the care their loved ones receive. Email or call us at 515-292-2650 for more information regarding our customized in-home respite care for older adults in Story City, Boone, Ames, and the surrounding areas.