November is National Family Caregivers Month. More than 40 million Americans provide unpaid care to a loved one and we would like to recognize the important role they play in today’s healthcare system.
Most of these people do this while holding down a full-time job and/or raising families of their own. They make sacrifices and often neglect their own needs, putting them at greater risk for a wide range of diseases, including depression.
We’d like to share some tips for all the family caregivers out there who work diligently every single day to ensure the health and well-being of a loved one.
Schedule some “me” time every day
When one gets caught up in a caregiving role, it’s easy to let other things slide – doctor and dental appointments, going to the gym, grocery shopping, or even getting together with friends. Being a good caregiver requires a lot of stamina – and the best way to maintain the energy required is to take care of yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise, eating well and taking some time to spend with friends and family.
Ask for and accept help from others
If things become overwhelming, ask other family members or friends for help. For those who live out of town, ask if they could arrange a visit and pitch in for the costs of hiring some outside help. Ask a friend to pick a prescription or groceries. Most people are glad to help and will feel good about the opportunity to contribute.
Have a conversation with your employer
Juggling work and caregiving can quickly become overwhelming. Have a talk with your employer and explain what’s going on. You may be able to arrange for a work schedule that will mesh better with your caregiving duties. At the very least, if you come in late a few days or have to leave for an emergency, your boss and coworkers will understand what’s going on and may even be able to provide some assistance.
Enlist the support of AMR Care Group
AMR can provide a variety of support services, including helping your loved get to and from medical appointments, bathing and personal care, grocery shopping, medication management and even light housekeeping. Our caregivers are also wonderful companions and quickly become a part of the family.