If you’ve ever felt underappreciated and unrecognized in your role providing care for older loved ones, this month is for you! November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to applaud the tireless work and dedication you invest in making sure a loved one’s life is the best it can be.
While It’s Not Always Easy, You Are Making a Difference
Take a moment to think through what a day in the life of family caregiving involves. Your very first thoughts are never for yourself, but for the overall health of a person you love. Thanks to you, an older loved one:
- Can enjoy healthy and well-balanced meals
- Never has to worry about facing the challenges of aging alone
- Receives the help and support needed to accomplish the daily tasks of living that may have become difficult to take care of on their own
- Has a companion to brighten each day through conversations, outings, and fun activities
- And much more
Providing care for older loved ones is a rewarding but challenging endeavor, and we salute you for your selfless work.
You Are in Good Company
As reported in an AARP study, unpaid family caregiving amounts to more than $600 billion in care. This mind-blowing figure equates to 38 million family caregivers who care for a loved one an average of 18 hours per week. To put that into perspective, this far surpasses the $433 billion spent annually in out-of-pocket healthcare costs by everyone in the United States.
But You Can’t Do It All Alone
Family caregivers often feel as though there isn’t anyone who knows the older loved one better than they do, and therefore no one can provide the same level of care. Although the first part of this may very well be true, the truth is that trying to meet all of a loved one’s care needs independently is not healthy for either the care receiver or the caregiver.
In order to provide the best care for someone you love, you must care for yourself, too. Feeling burned out and worn down leads to lower patience levels, less attention to detail, and increased frustration and stress—a recipe for a number of negative effects, including:
- Resentment, anger, and other complicated emotions
- Self-medication through unhealthy means
- Caregiver depression along with other serious health problems
- Sleeping problems
- Relationship issues with other family members and friends who also need your time and attention
- An increased risk of injury to the older adult from a medication mishap, fall, or other accident
- And much more
The very best way you can celebrate National Family Caregivers Month is by acknowledging the need for support to allow you to take time to care for yourself. Live Free Home Health Care’s respite care services are the ideal way to obtain a healthier life balance while ensuring the high quality care a loved one deserves.
We help family caregivers like you prioritize their own health and wellbeing without compromising the care their loved ones receive. Contact us at 603-217-0149 to learn more about our customized in-home respite care for older adults in Holderness, Concord, Bristol, and the surrounding areas.