“Take Care to Give Care” is the theme for 2016’s National Caregivers Month, celebrating home caregivers during the month of November. As the Caregiver Action Network explains, “Only by taking care of yourself can you be strong enough to take care of your loved one.”
Taking care of themselves enables home caregivers to better provide care to their patients. For that reason, it’s crucial that home caregivers get sufficient rest, eat properly, and pay attention to their physical and mental health needs.
Praise for Home Caregivers
In his proclamation for National Family Caregivers Month 2016, President Barack Obama states, “During National Family Caregivers Month, we reaffirm our support for those who give of themselves to be there for their family, friends, and neighbors in challenging times…The women and men who put their loved ones before themselves show incredible generosity every day, and we must continue to support them in every task they selflessly carry out…This month, and every month, let us lift up all those who work to tirelessly advance the health and wellness of those they love.”
The President’s words acknowledge the importance that home caregivers play in the lives of tens of millions of individuals. It’s not only the patients themselves, who need the attention provided by caregivers, that benefit from caregivers’ selfless acts. So do other members of the family, as well as friends of the patient. And society as a whole is enriched by the contributions that caregivers make on behalf of loved ones.
It can be difficult for home caregivers to find the time to take proper care of themselves. Their lives are typically a whirlwind, with many demands placed on them. Their responsibilities can create stress that can impact their health, as can the fact that finding the time to eat healthily can be a challenge.
That’s why one of the best ways to acknowledge the splendid work being done by home caregivers is to give them the gift of time. During National Family Caregivers Month (and throughout the year), make a difference by offering to help a caregiver by running errands, going grocery shopping, or watching their patient so they can enjoy some much-needed free time.