November has been declared as National Family Caregiver Month for our nation, state and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. November is a time designated each year to honor, thank and assist family caregivers.
This year’s campaign is Caring Every Day. For the one in five adults in America who serve as family caregivers, family caregiving is an important and time-consuming part of daily life.
Unfortunately the burdens and stress that are a part of family caregiving can take their toll. For instance family caregivers are known to have much higher rates of depression than the rest of the population. Among the six in 10 family caregivers who are employed, many alter their work life and consequently their financial well-being by cutting their hours or taking unpaid leave.
The Caring Every Day Campaign strives to increase awareness about family caregiving and offers three steps that family caregivers can take every day to make their lives easier, improve the care they provide their loved one and raise overall awareness: Believe in yourself; protect your health; and reach out for help
Research studies confirm what anyone who has cared for a chronically ill or disabled relative or friend knows firsthand such a labor of love can exact an enormous physical, emotional, social and financial toll.
All too often those who provide care to others neglect their own needs for self-care. Taking care of oneself is essential if the best care is to be provided to another person. Caregivers must learn how to balance their own needs with the needs of the person they are caring for.
Unfortunately, there is no single recipe for ensuring that one remains a healthy caregiver. Through our efforts at the National Family Caregiver Support Program, we want to do more than just raise public awareness about the issues surrounding family caregiving.
It is important that we take action and do something to help the caregivers in our communities that are here. Whether you are a neighbor, relative, co-worker or friend, offer these caregivers a helping hand. Be specific offer to ride to church, a nourishing meal or a free afternoon. Just a little bit of help makes a big difference.
If you know of a family caregiver who needs support, give them our number 262-1280. We care every day.
National Family Caregiver
Support Program Alaska
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