Guest Commentary: A month to celebrate family careNovember is National Family Caregiver Month and the theme for 2010 is “Reach Out for Help.” This month we are celebrating family caregivers for the hard work, commitment, love, and dignity they bring to their loved ones.
By: Tina Wall, Community Partners, Lake County News Chronicle
November is National Family Caregiver Month and the theme for 2010 is “Reach Out for Help.” This month we are celebrating family caregivers for the hard work, commitment, love, and dignity they bring to their loved ones.
Family Caregivers are the backbone of our long term health care and there is over 65 million caregivers doing this every day. Every day they assist relatives and loved ones with tasks ranging from simple supports such as household chores and cooking to more complex tasks that can include balancing checkbooks, helping with medications, and even bathing and dressing.
Although most caregivers view their work as rewarding, many will experience significant stress and negative health effects. The National Family Caregiver Association encourages caregivers to get help with their caregiving responsibilities. Getting help begins with recognizing that you need it, then asking for it, and accepting it when it is offered. It isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do, but getting help is very important for family caregivers wanting a better quality of life for themselves and their loved ones.
This is also the 10th anniversary of the National Family Caregivers Support Program which was the first piece of federal legislation that created a nation-wide program specifically to assist family caregivers. Through the Administration on Aging, the program has helped over a half a million caregivers to date.
Show appreciation for a family caregiver by offering to help them by cooking a meal, picking up some groceries, providing respite so the caregiver can go and get some time alone or with friends, or so they can go to the doctor for their own annual physical.
North Shore Area Partners and Community Partners are two programs in Lake County that are able to provide caregiver support through funding from the Older Americans Act and matching donations.
This month the two agencies will be hosting caregiver luncheons and other events to honor local caregivers. For more information call your Caregiver Consultants at Northshore Area Partners 226-3635 or Community Partners at 834-8024.