In the US, more than 20 million family caregivers perform daily living tasks as well as complicated medical/nursing tasks for their loved ones who may have a chronic illness or are aging in their home. The care they provide can be intense, time-consuming, repetitive and is often stressful.
The month of November is a time to recognize, support, and empower these unsung individuals. Very often, caregivers do not know how to ask for help, even when they need it most.
Perhaps the best thing you can do for them is to reach out. Offer to lend a hand by running errands or relieving them for a few hours. Offer to cook them dinner, make phone calls, or simply lend an ear. Remind them how important it is to take some time for themselves, and do what you can to pitch in while they take a well-needed day to recharge.
Sometimes even the smallest gesture can make a huge impact in boosting someone’s spirits and helping them to feel appreciated.
Here are some great resources to support family caregivers:
Top 10 Tips for Caregivers
Family Caregiver Toolbox
Home Alone Alliance
Jennifer Martire Baukol is the owner and CEO of STEPS Home Care, a licensed agency providing elder home care in the NY Metropolitan Area. She is also a Sharp Again Naturally volunteer.
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