National Family Caregivers Month Posted November 2, 2011 in Our articles

November is National Caregiver Month, one in four American adults help provide care to an older parent, spouse or other adult relative or loved ones. Caregivers are defined in many ways, including ongoing support and care to neighbors, distant relatives and lifelong friends. Among the challenges of caregiving include maintaining ones own obligations and responsibilities, health and spiritual balance while managing the needs of others.

Long time caregivers experienced with the caregiving role offer the following suggestions:

  • Partner with medical care providers to facilitate optimal communication and access to timely information
  • Ask for help and identify what others can do, specify when and how they can help—share the care
  • Seek out and utilize respite opportunities offered by informal caregivers and formal institutional-based resources
  • Listen to the needs and concerns offered by the individual receiving care—problem-solve and create new solutions
  • Care for your own health, physically, emotionally, and spiritually; caregiver effectiveness is limited if you cannot sustain
  • Research community Support Groups often sponsored by disease specific organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association
  • Seek virtual support groups, online chats and blogs for disease-related areas targeting specific challenges
  • Maintain realistic expectations for those receiving care by setting achievable goals
  • Utilize professionals with the expertise needed such as Elder Care Attorneys, Financial Managers or Geriatric Care Managers