By Nicole Lipinski, RN, MS, ADC-MC, CDP
November is National Family Caregiver Month. This month we celebrate all those who take care of others. National caregiver week began in the mid-1990. However, the importance of caregivers was truly recognized with President Barack Obama’s recognition in 2012.
“Across America, daughters and sons balance the work of caring for aging parents with the demands of their careers and raising their own children. Spouses and partners become caregivers to the ones they love, even as they navigate their own health challenges… All of them give selflessly to bring comfort, social engagement, and stability to those they love. National Family Caregivers Month is a time to reflect on the compassion and dedication that family caregivers embody every day. As we offer our appreciation and admiration for their difficult work, let us also extend our own offers of support to them and their loved ones.”
This recognition truly speaks to the dedication of the person who fills the role of caregiver. The caregiver often feels stress while attempting to fill the role of caring for an elderly parent and still raising a family. A caregiver may be an elderly spouse trying to manage their health and the full-time care of their spouse. We must remember and honor those that give of themselves to take care of others.
The National Alliance of Caregiving and AARP report that 23% of older caregivers caring for those over the age of 65 report a higher degree of physical strain compared to 17% who are younger. Being a caregiver can affect your health, so it is crucial to be sure to take care of yourself.
Find a way to release stress and take every opportunity to do so. This may be having a hot cup of tea or relaxing in a warm bath. Others find it relaxing to go for a walk or a run – it can be short or long, depending on the amount of time you have in your day. It can also help to join a support group. In a support group, you can talk to others who are going through similar things you are, and this can be very helpful. You will find that you are not alone. Whatever will help – find a way to calm and relax.
National Family Caregiver month is all about honoring those who take care of others and reminding them of how important they are! If you need assistance in finding a support group or with care management services, we would be glad to help. Please contact Nicole Lipinski, RN, MS, ADC-MC, CDP at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 570-344-6177 ext. 1113.