Lets Pause to Recognize the Importance of Our Family Caregivers
Who are caregivers? The answer most commonly is all of us, at some point in our lives. In old age, some people receive care from paid caregivers, but more often than not family members are providing care to their loved ones. Although it’s demanding, most find it very rewarding, as these folks are the ones who raised them and wiped their bottoms when they were babies. This caregiver role comes full circle, and often times it’s the children who are taking care of their parents as they age, experience health problems, and mobility issues.
Often the Biggest Advocates
Family caregivers are often the biggest advocates for their loved one who needs assistance. Caretakers play an important role when communicating with their doctors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals, as some patients downplay the severity of their situations. Caregivers also serve as a large pillar of emotional support to their loved ones in regards to their diagnoses and their needs. It is essential that their lines of communication remain open, honest, and empathetic, as this is a very challenging relationship. Sometimes, this is a hard relationship to keep in tact, as when they are very close, it’s easier to take that cares and love for granted.
Along with helping with personal care, household tasks, emotional support, advocacy, medical care, caregivers have a lot on their plates! Often times they are in the “sandwich effect”, caring for both their babies and their parents.
Express Our Gratitude for these Sweet Angels
We need to express so much gratitude for these sweet angels who give up their precious time, energy, and solitude, to help their parents, uncles/aunts, neighbors, etc. live out the rest of their lives in the best manner possible! It’s important for the caregivers to take some time off to recharge their batteries, spend some time alone, and reflect on their precious experience of taking care of their loved ones. They must remember their mental health is extremely important and they must take care of themselves, before they’re able to care for anyone else.
Reach Out and Thank a Caregiver and Celebrate Their Role
Although November is the formal month to draw attention to the many complexities that family caregivers take on and to recognize their roles, each of us can reach out and thank a caregiver and celebrate their role they play every day. Each situation is uniquely different, but below are a few ways we can show our gratitude and extend a helping arm.
- Offer to help with grocery shopping and meal prep
- Spiritual support through prayer and meditation
- Send a card or letter in the mail
- Make a telephone call
- Engage in a random act of kindness
- Nominate them for a neighborhood hero award
Gift your love to your loved one with care and attention, because you truly will improve their quality of life, even if they are unable to express their gratitude!