National Family Caregivers Month—The Practical Side
November is National Family Caregivers Awareness Month. If you have ever been a caregiver for anyone for any amount of time, you know just how taxing this role can be. Caregiving is a quiet, behind closed doors kind of work and because of this it often goes largely unnoticed. Nevertheless, caregiving is important and essential work and those who do it should be both praised and supported.
The website www.caregiveraction.org has some great resources for family caregivers. On their site they remind caregivers to care for themselves WHILE caring for others. Some of the reminders for caregivers they have posted there include the following:
- Enlist support
- Take care of your own health—physical and mental
- Take breaks
- Watch for signs of burnout and/or depression
- Keep medical information organized and available
Caregiving is akin to raising children. You need support, breaks and organizational skills. The potential for caregiver burnout and depression is very real. It is imperative that you take breaks and monitor yourself for signs of depression such as changes in eating or sleeping patterns, feeling hopeless or experiencing loss of interest in life and pleasurable activities. If you experience any of these symptoms for 2 weeks or more you should seek professional help.
Caregiving is one of the hardest jobs on the planet and not something that should be done in isolation. If you need support in your role of caregiving, please call us today. Life Enhancement Counseling Services has trained and seasoned mental health therapists that can help you identify and implement a self-care plan. We are here to provide support as you navigate your situation. Please contact us at 407-443-8862.