Let’s take time to thank and encourage those who care for others.
In a recent newspaper article in “The Parade” there was a reminder that November has been designated as Family Caregiver month—to help understand the challenges and rewards of being a caregiver. In the article, it referenced Mike Eidsaune, who is the CEO of caregiving.com and founder of ‘Carely’, a free mobile app that simplifies caregiving communication for families. He suggests 3 tips to help caregivers with their needs and their feelings:
- Redefine self-care—Remember, taking care of yourself is not being selfish! It’s a good idea to take time to do the things YOU like to do whether it’s walking, biking or having fun times with friends. That will not only help you feel better about caregiving, but it can actually help you to do a better job of it. Being active could increase your stamina and strength to do what needs to be done. Also, meditation or relaxation techniques like Yoga might put you in a better place emotionally to communicate with those you are caring for.
- Find community—Caregiving can feel lonely at times, but it doesn’t have to! You can connect with other caregivers at caregiving.com where you can join public forums and listen to podcasts or read related articles.
- Don’t just ask—If you’re trying to support a caregiver, don’t just ask how you can help. Often the caregiver is overwhelmed and is making all the decisions for their loved one and it can be added stress to make more decisions. Instead, do the things that you know would be helpful to that person. Whether that’s helping with their chores, yard work, shopping or walking their dog, this can help the caregiver to feel supported logistically or emotionally. In addition, Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900) to provide support, information and referrals to local resources 365 days a year. These services include care consultation, education, customized care plans or safety information.
If you are a caregiver, thank you for your selfless service and remember that help is available if you need it.
Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all of Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a Senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.