National Caregivers Month

Published: November 9, 2021

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President Biden has proclaimed November as National Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the important role of family caregivers and thank them for the invaluable care they provide. More than 53 million Americans care for loved ones at home with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age, according to the Caregiver Action Network.(1)

The average number of hours family caregivers provide is 20 hours per week, with 13% of caregivers providing 40 or more hours per week. The typical family caregiver is a woman who is employed and caring for her widowed mother.(1) While caregiving is often associated with the care of frail and elderly family members, 14% of caregivers are caring for a special needs child.(1)

Family caregiving has been shown to have a significant negative effect on caregivers’ economic situation as well as their own health, reports the National Alliance for Caregiving, an advocacy organization that works to raise public awareness about family caregiving and promote legislation to support caregivers.(2)

Caregiver Action Network offers these top 10 tips for caregivers: (1)

  • Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
  • Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to care for your loved one.
  • Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  • Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  • Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks often.
  • Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
  • Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  • Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
  • Make sure legal documents are in order.
  • Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

 


(1) Caregiving Action Network, Caregiver Statistics, https://www.caregiveraction.org/
(2) National Alliance for Caregiving, National Alliance for Caregiving Mission, https://www.caregiving.org/