Congratulations for being who you are! –National Family Caregiver Month acknowledges the hard work of over 40 million caregivers in the U.S. who devote part of their lives to care for loved ones.
The month of November is a time for caregivers and support organizations to connect and create awareness for the over 40 million family or “informal” caregivers in the U.S. – unpaid family members or friends who take care of loved ones.
In 2014, President Barak Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation about National Family Caregiver Month, citing the important role caregivers play in the U.S. while encouraging us to acknowledge this role:
Not only this month, but every month, let us work alongside our Nation’s caregivers and make certain they are able to provide the best possible care for their loved ones for as long as necessary. Together, we recognize those who place service above self, including the women and men looking after our veterans. By offering them the same comfort, social engagement, and stability they bring to others, may we remind them that they are not alone.
For those involved in elder care — or for those who know someone who is — National Caregiver Month is an especially appropriate time to become even more engaged with the caregiving community through awareness campaigns and educational events.
National Family Caregiver Month Activities Worth Following
- AARP is hosting a virtual Caregiver Fair on Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 12pm – 4pm EST. Register here to join the free fair online. The campaign also includes a Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers contest, which encourages everyone to perform a kind gesture for a caregiver, post a brief story and photo. Participants earn a chance to win in a shared $10,000 prize pot. As well, AARP’s magazine October issue features a photo essay titled “A Day in the Life of an American Caregiver.”
- The Alzheimer’s Association website has a section to honor caregivers as part of National Family Caregiver Month, which also coincides with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Add a personal tribute to the Alzheimer’s Association blog, which asks “what does a caregiver look like?” Share your story here.
- Caregiving.com encourages you to acknowledge National Family Caregiver Month in many ways. Participate in a Blogging Challenge for a chance to win $100 or in a group Solitaire Showdown with other site members. Do a seven-minute workout or share photos, join others in a Bible study, online chats and much more. Read more here.
- Although not directly related to National Family Caregiver Month, a petition to create awareness about caregiver stress was created by Denise Brown and is still active. Brown is the founder of Caregiving.com and wrote 10 Reasons Why Caregiving Is an Epidemic to point out why caregivers need as much support as the patients in their charge. Sign the petition at Change.org.
Even if you hire help from a company like Angel Home Care Services, it’s important to honor yourself as a family caregiver — someone who cares enough to manage a loved one’s health needs.
You’re still a caregiver in many ways, even if you aren’t there for every single daily routine. Take a moment, too, to thank even hired caregivers and all who help support your loved one.
— Maria de los Angeles is an award-winning writer based in Miami who became a caregiver to her parents in 2008. Since then, she has been a passionate advocate for eldercare and caregiver issues.Claudio Alegre is the CEO & Chief Content Writer for Angel Home Care Services on the Web and Patient and Family Advocate off the Web. He lives in Miami with his wife and 3 boys. He's passionate about healthcare and all things caregiving. He can be reached at [email protected] or directly at 305.220.4544
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