Calling All Family Caregivers: Speak Up for Yourself

family caregivers

As a family caregiver, it might be hard to speak up for yourself because you may be in unfamiliar territory. You may not know whether what you’re doing or how you’re doing it is in the best interest of your loved one. And you probably don’t have many chances to seek counsel from other family caregivers to ease your anxiety and raise your confidence.

There are more than 65 million family caregivers in the U.S., and each has a voice. Together, you can make a lot of noise. In support of National Family Caregivers Month, below are suggestions to help you, as a family caregiver, speak up for yourself. 

  • Believe in yourself: Make choices that are in your own best interests; say “no”; and command respect from healthcare providers
  • Protect your health: You have a right to a good night’s sleep, respite time, opportunity to exercise and a life of your own separate from caregiving
  • Ask for help: Recognize that family caregiving takes more than one person; enlist the services of a care coordinator to help direct you through the maze of our country’s health and social support systems and ensure continuity of your loved one’s care; ask for financial aid so you can hire help; and connect with support services and programs
  • Voice your rights: Demand education and training in the skills you need as a family caregiver; and stress your need for affordable health insurance and financial support to protect you in later life

Standing up for yourself gives you confidence. With a feeling of empowerment and elevated sense of self-worth, you’ll be able to overcome the challenges you face as a family caregiver.

How can you advocate for family caregivers?

 

Right at Home, Inc. is your local and international expert for issues related to caring for your loved one and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. Right at Home offers in-home care and assistance so your loved one can continue living independently and enjoying a vibrant life. Our caregivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one.

5 Comments

  1. Nick Vander Wal November 30, 2011 08:00 PM

    Taking care of the caregiver is so important!

  2. Rita Ude December 01, 2011 11:00 AM

    Thank you for commenting on our blog! We agree! Caregivers must take care of themselves in order to care for loved ones.

  3. Cynthia Gibson December 01, 2011 05:53 PM
    Midi-way thru my Home Health Aide (HHA) class, I was told by my school that I could not take care of my parents who live in Maryland until I took a Certified Nursing Assistant class first. Why is it that I can work in Washington, D.C., but not in Maryland? So in order to get paid now as a HHA, I have to leave my sick parents and take care of someone else's family member. Frustrated in Maryland, Cynthia G.
  4. Annette Salas December 23, 2011 04:23 AM

    My mother has been going through issues related to Calling All Family Caregivers: Speak Up for Yourself. And I am definitely going to direct her to this blog! It is such a touchy subject, she is 1 of 13 children. Most of the responsibility rests on her and it is hard to raise/discuss certain/many issues in a "civil way." What is out there to assist others in these situations...local support groups/events? Any additional information would be appreciated. Gracias.

  5. Rita Ude December 28, 2011 09:52 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Annette. You could tell your mother to subscribe to the Caring Right at Home newsletter, a free online newsletter that provides information, advice and support for adult caregiving. The website is www.caringnews.com. Also, you could tell your mother to read Right at Home's Adult Caregiving Guide, which also provides information, advice and support for adult caregiving. The guide is found on the Right at Home website under the About You tab. Or, click on this link: http://www.rightathome.net/about-you/adult-caregiving-guide-information-advice-and-support/. We hope the links in this blog plus the additional information in this comment will provide your mother the support she needs.

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