Did you know November is National Family Caregivers Month? It’s a great time to celebrate the more than 42 million people in the U.S. that are caring for an older relative or friend. If you are a caregiver yourself or if you know one, you know that sometimes this means you need extra support. The holidays are coming and can add even more stress to an already stressful situation. With the help of AARP, I have compiled 10 holiday tips that should help you have a happier holiday season.
National Family Caregivers Month
According to AARP’s research, the more than 42 million caregivers in the U.S. provide an estimated $450 billion worth of unpaid care to aging relatives and friends. Many think that caregivers are paid health professionals, providing full-time care to someone in need of daily help, when in reality, most caregivers are also working and managing their own families at the same time. This can be highly stressful work, putting caregivers at risk for depression and anxiety immunosuppression, cardiovascular disease, premature aging, among other physiological consequences, as well as causing financial problems.
A popular misconception is that caregivers are paid medical professionals, providing full-time care to someone in need of daily help, when in reality, most caregivers are family members or friends who are also working and managing their own families at the same time. For many, the caregiving role starts with simple things like scheduling a doctor’s visit or helping with daily errands, but gradually expands over time, until it becomes a major commitment in their lives.
The holidays bring with them their own amount of stress and when added to the already high level of stress that family caregivers experience it can sometimes lead to very hurtful situations. From elderly abuse to divorce, there are many situations that occur because family care givers are so stressed and overwhelmed. With the proper care and support much of these situations can be handled in a better way. Below are 10 Holiday Tips for Family Caregivers that will help you have a happier holiday but can also be applied throughout the year.
This November we’re kicking off a program designed to encouraging all Americans to perform an unexpected ‘Random Act of Kindness’ for a caregiver. By starting a nationwide movement, we’ll raise awareness of caregiving and caregivers while at the same time reaching caregivers directly—helping to alleviate some of their daily stresses and reward them for their ongoing support.
For more information about these 10 tips and for help finding support in your area check out AARP.
If you are a Family Caregiver or Know of one I encourage you to join our National Family Caregivers Month Twitter chat on Wednesday 11/4, 1pm EST by following #caresupport and @AARPFamily. Amy Goyer (@amygoyer), Lee Woodruff @LeeMWoodruff, for the launch of Random Act of Kindness and they will be answering all your questions.
If you are a family caregiver, what is your biggest struggle?
Thank you to ElementAssociates.com for sponsoring this post.