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Published By Right at Home Boston and North on November 17, 2020

Celebrating National Family Caregivers Month While Keeping Yourself Healthy

Each November, we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month to honor family caregivers across the United States. As caregivers, sometimes it becomes second nature to get up every day and help our senior loved ones with their daily activities. Right at Home Boston and North wants you to know that your service does not go unnoticed. Your courage and dedication reflect the righteousness of what human beings strive to be.

Learn more about National Family Caregivers (NFC) Month and what you can do for your mental health to safely provide the care that your senior loved ones deserve.

What Is The Significance of NFC?

Each day, family members and loved ones provide compassionate care for the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, and those with disabilities. There are over 50 million American caregivers, most of whom are unpaid caregivers to family and friends. Family caregivers juggle their own priorities and their loved ones' in addition to managing health emergencies, doctors' appointments, house chores, and shopping for necessities.

Not only is November a time to recognize the efforts of family caregivers, it also enables us to:

  • Increase support for those that spend long hours meeting the needs of their senior loved ones.
  • Raise awareness of issues that may develop because of the essential role, such as mental health issues.
  • Educate family caregivers on the importance of self-care and self-identification.
  • Celebrate the endeavors of family caregivers.

November is a time to support and empower family caregivers all across the nation. It is a time to connect with those that care for their loved ones out of sheer love.

We Care About Your Health As A Caregiver

Caregiving may significantly impact your life, often putting a strain on work and social activities. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, feelings of stress, worry, and isolation may have become all too familiar on top of the challenges as a caregiver. Despite the current situation, caregivers must continue with their acts of kindness and navigate the essential role; their loved ones depend on it.

It is important that caregivers take their own physical and mental health seriously. More and more family caregivers are experiencing:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Alcohol and drug addiction

Here is a list of things you can do to help prevent the above conditions while caring for your senior loved one:

  • Exercise regularly to keep your mind and body disciplined and in top shape.
  • Recognize early signs of depression – Depression Symptoms & Types.
  • Seek support from other caregivers – Caregiver Action Network.
  • Organize your own medical information as well as your loved ones for easy and stressless access – Health Reminders.
  • Acknowledge your efforts and understand that a caregiver's job is one of the toughest out there.

Annual Proclamations From Our Presidents

In 1997, President Bill Clinton signed the first National Family Caregivers Presidential Proclamation. Ever since, each president has followed suit by issuing an annual proclamation each November to honor family caregivers.

For more information on National Family Caregivers Month, visit: Caregiver Action Network

References:

https://caregiveraction.org/national-family-caregivers-month-background
https://www.mhanational.org/national-family-caregivers-month

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