For many years, I sponsored what I called Family Caregiver Awareness Days: Cook for a Caregiver, Job Jar Day and Kiss a Caregiver. Each year, I sent our press releases to create awareness of the caregiving experience and to drum up help for family caregivers.
In recent years, I’ve just let the days slip by without scheduling them. Last night, during our chat on Twitter, we talked about the help family caregivers need. We spoke about the basics, like someone bringing over a dinner or helping with cleaning. I mentioned I used to sponsored an event called Cook for a Caregiver every year. One of our chatters (@SrCareCorner) suggested that the event be more often than once a year, like the first Friday of every month.
After our chat ended, I began to think about Job Jar Day, which encourages family and friends to spend a few hours on a Saturday helping out at the family caregiver’s (or caree’s) home. Why not hold that on the last Saturday of the month?
So, beginning in November, we’ll create awareness about what you do and hopefully get you some help through a monthly Cook for a Caregiver Day (the first Friday), and Job Jar Day (the last Saturday). In November, Cook for a Caregiver will take place on November 2; Job Jar Day, November 24.
Here’s a brief explanation of both days:
Cook for a Caregiver: When you care for a family member or friend with a chronic illness, your world gets smaller. And, so does the family member or friend with a chronic illness. According to a results of a recent survey conducted by Caregiving.com, family member caregivers feel isolated in their role. They feel bogged down by their responsibilities, so much so that they find it hard to find time to socialize with family members and friends. And, their carees feel isolated because of disease and disability. It can be a very lonely experience for two people. To help alleviate some of the loneliness, even for a few hours, Caregiving.com encourages family and friends to bring a meal and visit with the family caregiver and caree on Friday, November 2.
Job Jar Day: On November 24, Caregiving.com asks family and friends to help around the house of the family caregiver and/or the caree. To help everyone get off to a good and productive start with their Job Jar Day, we’ve compiled a list of jobs that family caregivers may need help with:
1. Installing grab bars in the caree’s bathroom.
2. Adding no-skid backing on all throw rugs.
3. Weeding the garden.
4. Mowing the lawn and raking leaves.
5. Cleaning out the refrigerator.
6. Making and freezing enough meals to last a week.
7. “Winterizing” the home, preparing storm windows, cleaning the fireplace.
8. Washing windows.
9. Re-painting areas on walls marked up by wheelchair traffic.
10. Giving the caree’s bedroom (or the room or space where personal care occurs) a deep cleaning.
11. Cleaning the car that the family caregiver and caree use.
12. Getting caught up on laundry.
13. Mopping floors.
14. Organizing closets.
15. Re-arranging furniture to best accommodate care needs.
16. Removing stains on furniture and in carpeting.
I’ll create and post press releases for our events next week. I’ll also include instructions on how to send the press releases to your local news outlets and how to share them on your social networking sites.
I also would love to share recipes on Caregiving.com for Cook for a Caregiver Day, so please send me your fast and easy recipes.
- Report: Almost Half of Family Caregivers Perform Medical Tasks (caregiving.com)
- Hot Topics: Where’s the Help? (caregiving.com)
- Join Our Caregiving Garage Sale on Oct. 27 (caregiving.com)
- National Family Caregivers Month Celebration (caregiving.com)
- Join Us on October 21 for our First Annual CareGifters Walk-A-Thon (caregiving.com)
- The Shifting Perspective on Help (caregiving.com)