November is National Family Caregivers Month
November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the hard, unpaid work that members of our families provide for loved ones with health challenges.
What is a caregiver?
A caregiver is defined as anyone who provides care for a person who needs extra help. There are a range in types of caregivers, from certified at-home hired help to family caregivers who provide care for their loved ones.
What kind of care is provided from a caregiver?
Caregivers often provide a range of care services and can change over time as mobility needs change. Some caregivers will drive, provide housekeeping, pay bills, ensure proper medication is taken, to even simply providing daily companionship. The scope of work is broad for both professional and non-professional caregivers, but most tend to activities of daily life like washing, dressing, bathroom needs, eating, and getting around.
I have someone who provides care for me. How can I thank my caregiver?
We are glad you asked! For National Family Caregivers Month, BraunAbility created a printable Thank You card that you can fill in with a personal note thanking your family caregivers. Whether you are the one being cared for and wish to acknowledge the help they provide on a daily basis or you know someone who provides care for someone else and want to recognize their efforts, this small act of kindness could have a big impact on a caregiver in your life.
The National Alliance for Caregiving reports that more than 65 million Americans care for their aging family or loved ones with disabilities.
AARP researched a group in 2019 to ask about the daily life of a caregiver. Though caregiving can look different for everyone, they found three commonalities for the majority of caregiver survey respondents.
1. Many caregivers experience isolation.
Though most respondents reported having a close friend or relative to confide in, nearly 10% said they didn’t have anyone to talk to about private matters, and nearly 20% said they did not have a resource for help.
2. Caregivers have challenges balancing their many responsibilities.
The majority of family caregivers work outside of the home as well as manage their own household on top of providing care for relatives. This immense workload has the potential to wear down a caregiver and may lead to stress-related injuries or illnesses.
3. Most caregivers are adult children caring for their parents.
Nearly half of the survey responses say they are adult children caring for elderly parents. Roughly 1 in 5 responses were wives or husbands caring for their spouses.
What resources are available for caregivers?
BraunAbility recognizes the important role family members play in proving care for someone with a disability. We created the Drive for Inclusion movement, which collects the voices of the carers and cared for and includes them on conversations around mobility, community inclusion, accessibility product design, and everyday life. Our goal is to unite this unique community and provide actionable solutions to common pain points, and we invite everyone to get involved to make their voice heard and make an impact in their communities.
BraunAbility Surprises Caregivers with Help from Chive Charities
For National Family Caregiver Month in November, BraunAbility worked with our partner Chive Charities to help surprise caregivers around the country with baskets filled with goodies as a way to say thank you. Chive Charities chapters around the US visited the homes of past grant recipients with a custom caregiver basket filled with indulgent snacks, calming lotion, and a cuddle-worthy blanket and T-shirt to thank them for their often-underappreciated hard work.
Here are some of the awesome deliveries we’ve seen so far.
YOU can still get involved. Here’s how:
- Download and fill out the Thank You card for caregivers. Let a caregiver in your life know how much you appreciate what they do.
- Join the Drive for Inclusion and lend your voice to the cause: your participation could shape everything from products to services in your local community.
- Follow us on social media and keep up-to-date on all happenings BraunAbility.
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