Celebrating National Family Caregiver Awareness Month

national caregiver awareness month

The time and energy it takes to care for a loved one, along with the sacrifices that come with this responsibility are characteristics that we at BraunAbility admire and see firsthand in our customers and communities. 

BraunAbility’s Driving Force 

In recognition of National Family Caregiver Month, BraunAbility reached out to members of The Driving Force, our online community of people living with mobility challenges and their caregivers. What we found was a greater need: Care for our caregivers. 

The 2023 Drive For Inclusion Report Card 

As part of our Drive For Inclusion initiative we asked caregivers to share their thoughts on caregiving, and compiled our 2023 Drive For Inclusion Report Card, full of statistics, personal stories, and thoughts from caregivers.  

When taking a closer look at caregiving, we found an overwhelming majority of caregivers find caregiving to be emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. In fact, 61% of caregivers said caregiving has made their health worse, with 88% of caregivers facing emotional strain, 83% facing physical strain, and 61% facing financial strain.  

One Driving Force member, who cares for her disabled daughter said,

“Caregiving is a lot to carry. When you carry something well, people assume it’s not heavy. She’s the greatest joy in our life [but], caring for her is a full-time job, and in our case, a lifelong job.” She continued, “The emotional, physical, and mental toll goes unseen or unappreciated. We would never ask for it, but a little acknowledgement, understanding, or support of our hard work would go a long way.” 

Others expressed similar sentiments, citing a need for respite care, personal time, and support from federal agencies, but more importantly, caregivers expressed a greater need for support from those around them. With over half of caregivers expressing feelings of loneliness and burnout, we heard caregiver’s express sentiments like,  

‘I wish the rest of my family appreciated what I do.’ 
‘I need some time to myself.” 
‘When will someone look out for my needs like I do for others’. 
2023 Drive For Inclusion Report Card

What Month is National Caregivers Month? 

National Family Caregiver Month takes place every November, and with the holiday season around the corner, it is a great time to thank caregivers and show them your appreciation. In our 2023 Drive For Inclusion Survey, we found a number of caregivers expressing their ideas about how we can better care for caregivers of people with mobility challenges. A majority of respondents said showing a caregiver appreciation can be simpler than you might think. 

Many caregivers expressed a ‘thank you’ from friends and family can go a long way. Others expressed feelings of loneliness and a desire to have someone to talk to when feeling overwhelmed. Some expressed a need for respite care, stating they’d appreciate assistance from friends and family who are willing and able to help when needed.  

Is There a Caregiver Appreciation Day? 

While National Family Caregiver Month takes place in November, National Caregivers Day takes place every year, on the third Friday in February.  

How Do We Celebrate National Caregiver Day? 

There are several ways to celebrate National Caregiver Day. Here are a few ideas to help you show appreciation for a caregiver in your life. 

  1. Say ‘thank you’- a simple expression of gratitude and appreciation for caregivers can go a long way. 
  2. Provide respite if you can – While not all people may be experienced in caring for a person with a disability, caring for caregivers in other ways like taking care of household chores or running errands can help to alleviate caregiver stress. 
  3. Talk to the caregiver – With over half of caregivers reporting feelings of loneliness in our 2023 Report card, many expressed a need for open conversations with friends and family. 
  4. Care baskets – If you want to show appreciation to a caregiver with a gift, consider a care basket. You could fill the care basket with items like: 
    • Comfortable clothes like a robe, slippers, pajamas, or athletic wear.
    • A stress ball, putty, or other fidgets, as well as candles or essential oils for stress relief.
    • A gift card to a local coffee shop, a favorite restaurant, or even for pampering activities like a spa treatment.
    • A journal for writing. 

Caring for those who provide care to millions of people with disabilities is vital not only to the wellbeing of caregivers but also to the people they care for. To learn more about the current state of caregiving and how you can better support a caregiver in your life, download the 2023 Drive For Inclusion Report Card. If you’re a caregiver of a person with a mobility challenge or you live with a physical disability, consider joining BraunAbility’s Driving Force. By becoming a member of The Driving Force, you can help our over 2,000-member strong community to amplify disabled voices and create a more inclusive future for those impacted by mobility disabilities.  

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