The Alzheimer’s Caregivers Network (ACN) is pleased to recognize National Family Caregivers month this November.
Originally signed into action by President Bill Clinton in 1997, National Family Caregivers month aims to honor each of the 53 million family caregivers across the country, while raising awareness about the issues caregivers confront and increasing their support and education.
Finding yourself responsible for the care of a family member, especially one with Alzheimer’s disease, can feel like a daunting task. Here at ACN, we want to recognize the time, effort and money that goes into caring for your family members with the love and respect they deserve as Alzheimer’s progresses.
Due to the demanding nature of caring for a family member, many caregivers put their own needs on the backburner, which can lead to depression, burnout and even health issues. Our mission at ACN is to provide information and practical advice to enable caregivers with the confidence and knowledge they need to provide the highest level of care for their loved ones while protecting themselves against burnout.
Here are three ways caregivers can celebrate National Family Caregivers month this November:
- Find a support group. Support groups offer a judgement-free space for members to discuss their thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. You can also learn tried and true tips from people who have been in your shoes before. Whether you’re at the beginning of your caregiving journey or are a seasoned pro, surrounding yourself with people in similar situations for support and advice will help prevent burnout as a caregiver.
- Lean on friends and family members. It can be difficult to ask for help, especially from people who might not understand the hardships that come with caregiving for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Trust that your friends and family members would not offer to help if they didn’t mean it, and let them bring you meals, run errands or sit with your loved one while you take a much-needed break. Delegating tasks between siblings or friends can be the difference between everyone providing short bursts of high-quality caregiving, or you providing everything and quickly burning out.
- Treat yourself. Many caregivers feel like they cannot take a moment for themselves while their loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. You can’t be your best caregiving-self if you’re not taking care of your basic needs. Treat yourself to a night out, a nice meal or a quiet afternoon walk – and try your hardest to leave your caregiving worries at home so you can truly relax.
The Alzheimer’s Caregivers Network recognizes caregivers for the hard work they do every day, and we wish all caregivers a happy and healthy National Family Caregivers Month.
Check back as we continue to share tips on caregiving throughout the month in celebration of National Family Caregivers Month. Please also sign up for our free newsletter to have articles delivered straight to your inbox.