Mom has been a caregiver all her life. There weren’t too many years between when her youngest was grown and out of the house and when her parents moved in needing care for everyday tasks. The care she has given has increased over the years to the point at which she is lovingly working more than full time to give her parents what they need.
The Caregiver Action Network cares for people like Mom. They have set aside November as National Family Caregivers Month. For 2016, they have chosen the theme “take care to give care.”
Caregivers are so generous, loving, and giving of their time and attention for others. But family caregivers need to remember to take care of themselves so that they can stay strong, healthy, and physically able to continue family caregiving.
Are you a caregiver or are you close to a family caregiver?
Take November to encourage the family caregiver to remember these simple steps to staying healthy and strong:
- Watch stress levels to make sure they aren’t too overwhelmed. Keeping a stress diary can provide an alert to when the stress level is becoming too much to handle.
- Take care to eat properly with lots of fruits and vegetables. If the caregiver is not properly nourished with good-for-you food, the caregiver will not be healthy enough to carry on.
- Schedule time for resting and recharging. If a caregiver waits for downtime to naturally present itself to take time to rest, it will never happen. Scheduling rest is the only sure way that it will happen. The best way to schedule rest is to schedule a respite care worker to come. Too often respite care is seen only for emergencies or as a last resort. But respite care should be used regularly to keep the family caregiver recharged and refreshed.
How could a family caregiver make use of respite care?
- To attend a regular weekly event. Something so the family caregiver can do what they love whether it be attending church, singing in a chorus, taking a knitting classes, or going bowling. Or it could be meeting a group of friends for dinner.
- Don’t miss out on family functions. Use respite care to attend a wedding or graduation or a holiday celebration.
- Take an overnight trip. Respite care can vary between several hours or several days. At least once a year, schedule a more lengthy respite so that you can fully recharge and rest. Even if the caregiver does not have a trip destination in mind, booking a local hotel for some quiet and an unbroken night of sleep can be a trip in itself.
Where could a family find a respite care worker?
When you are looking for a respite caregiver, it is important to be sure that the caregiver is skilled and properly trained. All caregivers at CommUnity Care of the Northeast have gone through the Home Health Aide Training Course which not only includes CPR, First Aid, and AED certification, but also includes hands-on care supervised by a registered nurse. If your loved one has intellectual disabilities, CommUnity Care has workers trained for their specific needs as well. The Home Health Aide Training Course also meets the Medicare standards.
If you are in the Northeast Philadelphia area, contact CommUnity Care of the Northeast. Our skilled caregivers are willing and able to come alongside family caregivers and give support, encouragement, and respite care when needed.