Be Thankful for Family Caregivers

Who are the family caregivers and what, exactly do they do?

Family caregivers are those of us who devote our time to the often extraordinary task of caring for members of our families who are unable to properly care for themselves. In my case, I am the primary caregiver for a parent with several medical problems, one of which is Alzheimer’s. I know there are also siblings caring for siblings and spouses caring for each other and parents caring for adult children and even more combinations of near and distant relations who have taken on this important and unheralded responsibility.

Our tasks can be as limited as running errands for homebound friends and family to the more complicated and emotionally draining jobs of personal grooming, feeding, paperwork, and so much more.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about you can consider yourself very fortunate indeed. If you are not a caregiver but have someone in your family who is, I would ask that you go out and get them a nice gift. Because this month of November is National Caregiver Month and I have seen almost no national announcements, I shouting this out for everyone to hear. November is a great time to be thankful that someone in the family has taken this on.

Here are some ways to show your thanks:
1) Offer to make Thanksgiving and include both the care recipient and caregiver in ways that don’t require the caregiver to do anything more than be there.

2) Donate 2 to 3 (or more) hours of your time a week so that the caregiver can go out and do things for herself.

3) Donate your time to help with chores.

4) Say “yes” when you are asked to help out.

If you are a caregiver, I have some important recommendations:
1) Coach Broyles’ Play Book for Alzheimer’s Caregivers It’s free and very readable.

2) Visiting Nurse Association for all the information they have as well as access to and information about local Support Groups.

3) Support groups! Definitely find one and go. (See #s 2, 4, and 5)

4) Your state’s (if you are in the USA) Agency on Aging.

5) Alzheimer’s Association – this is a national group with local offices.

3 Responses to “Be Thankful for Family Caregivers”

  1. Dennis Says:

    This is so very important and I’m glad you made mention of it. It is a hard job and I commend anyone who has the patience and the heart for it.

  2. Eddie Says:

    Thank you Patricia for posting this. Anyone who has been there before knows how much work it is. Requires lots of patience and love. We appreciate you.