Did you know that November is National Family Caregiver month? Cancer patients and survivors are very fortunate to have a strong support system and during the month of November make sure to also give thanks to these generous and caring individuals. Many of us, at one point or another have or will be caregivers. Not only do family caregivers give physical support to those who have been diagnosed with a disease but they also provide emotional support during such a difficult time.
The job of caregiver should never be taken lightly as you are responsible for the health and happiness of the person under your care. For many caregivers it is a selfless act, one done out of love and appreciation for their respective family members. A recent survey found that over 60% of caregivers say their experience is “extremely rewarding” and the majority reports an improved relationship with the person in their care. Family caregivers do so much and ask so little in return.
Even children can become caregivers. There are over 1.4 million children who range in age from 8 – 18 who provide care for an adult relative. While they may not be the sole caregiver, the help they provide helps immensely. Family caregivers take on these roles to help wherever needed, and we must not forget to thank them for the positive role they play in the recovery of cancer patients.
Being a caregiver can take a huge toll on the human body. If you are a caregiver and are experiencing any of the following we recommend that you handle the situation with the utmost care immediately.
Symptoms of caregiver stress are the following:
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling constantly worried
- Feeling tired most of the time
Without caregivers the world would be a much harsher place. Caregivers are strong and capable individuals with a passion for helping that shouldn’t be overlooked. Do you have what it takes to be a caregiver? We bet you do.
Caregivers exhibit the following qualities:
There are plenty of initiatives that have been developed to encourage and show appreciation for caregivers. The National Alliance for Care giving has created a stir on social media with the hashtag #CareComesHome in honor of this year’s National Family Caregiver Month. Caregivers touch lives constantly, and the NAC is a non-profit organization focused on educating caregivers and providing helpful tips, resources and support to those looking to keep America healthier.
The five facts we have that every caregiver should know are as follows:
- You aren’t alone. There are over 65 million Americans caring for someone right at this moment
- You are valuable. Unpaid care from these 65 million Americans equal over $375 billion.
- You can take a break. Just because you commit to helping doesn’t mean you can’t take some time to yourself. Often it helps your situation for the better.
- Talk to someone. Keep yourself healthy and happy. That’s the only way you can take care of someone else properly.
- Knowledge and spirituality help. Over 73% of caregivers say praying helps them cope with stress.
Caregivers deserve more than just a month, and we aim to show our appreciation year-round.