Nov. 26: Kiss a Caregiver

Denise

Nov. 26: Kiss a Caregiver

Denise
Do you know a family caregiver?

Chances are you do. According to the research release in June 2015 by National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, an estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the prior 12 months.

Tuesday, November 26, is your day to show your appreciation for the family caregiver in your life. And, it’s easy -- all you have to do is give him or her a kiss! Your appreciation for all he or she does will make that family caregiver’s day.

Be sure to share a photo of your moment of gratitude with a family caregiver on social media and use our hashtag: #kissacaregiver.

But November 26 is just the start.

Family caregivers do so much; they provide ongoing support, love and medical care to a family member in need. Their job is difficult, overwhelming and exhausting. They may often feel depleted–of physical energy and emotional strength.

And, that’s where you come in! You can help a family caregiver feel revitalized and renewed. We’ve put together a few ideas to help you get started:

1. Call the family caregiver on a regular basis to find out how he or she is doing.
Listen with an open heart–and a non-judgmental ear. You don’t have to solve the problems -- just listening is the best help you can offer.

2. Volunteer to stay with the caree one evening or afternoon a week, every other week, or every month -- whatever you can offer. Encourage the family caregiver to enjoy the break and not worry about you or the caree.

3. Send a note expressing your love and gratitude for the family caregiver.

4. Encourage the family caregiver to keep up their own interests and hobbies and then help them find the time needed to do so. Often, family caregivers feel that they’ve lost themselves, that their own personalities somehow got “fuzzy” or out-of-focus. Ensuring a family caregiver has the time and support to pursue his or her own interests fights off the “fuzzies.”

5. Lessen the family caregiver’s load by running errands when you can. Offer to pick up groceries, medications, whatever the family caregiver needs.

6. Call the family caregiver and say, “Don’t worry about dinner. I’ll bring it over at 5:30.” It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to be from you.

7. Be a library runner. Ask the family caregiver what books/videos he or she would like from the library. A good book or great movie can be a refreshing break for a caregiver.

8. Offer to make phone calls on behalf of the family caregiver to learn about community services that can help.

9. Stop for a visit with the family caregiver and the caree.

10. Share a hug! Family caregivers give so much of themselves -- they need to be on the receiving end as often as possible.

Thank you for your support; you have the opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the life of a family caregiver. And, we're sharing the love by offering a free Kindle download of Take Even More Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers. The free download begins November 24 and expires on November 28. (We've included the book, below, for your convenience. Please note: The book will only be free when the free download period begins on November 24.)

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Kiss a Caregiver Day is one of six Family Caregiver Awareness Days Caregiving.com has developed; Job Jar Day, Cook for a Caregiver, Labor Day Break, Bring Flowers to a Family Caregiver and Grill for a Caregiver take place during the year. Through these days, Caregiving.com hopes to create awareness of the family caregiver role within the community and within the family. And, they create opportunities for other family members to get involved. Sometimes, both family members and family caregivers struggle to communicate effectively with each other; the Awareness Days try to eliminate some of the communication anxiety. For more information, email Denise at denise@caregiving.com.