“Thank You for Caring” - Resources in Honor of National Family Caregiver Month
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) there are nearly 66 million individuals providing unpaid care to family members who are sick, aging, and/or disabled. The Caregiver Action Network (CAN) reports that two out of every five adults are family caregivers and 36% of Americans between ages 18 and 29 report that they are caregivers for a family member. Caregivers perform tasks ranging from assisting with basic activities of daily living to complex medical/nursing care such as managing medications, wound care, and operating specialized medical equipment.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts (World CP Day and Meet Angie), I have an adult cousin with cerebral palsy (CP) and an intellectual disability. While she is independent in many ways, Susan does depend on my aunt to ensure all of her needs are met. In addition to taking care of Susan, my aunt also cares for her 96-year-old father. While caring for both her father and her daughter are labors of love, the reality is that my aunt spends a great deal of time and effort caring for others. There are also thousands of husbands and wives caring for spouses who sustained life changing injuries or have complex medical conditions that require supportive care. In addition, siblings all over the United States serve as a caregiver for their brothers and/or sisters.
During the month of November, most Americans take time to give thanks for all of their blessings as a part of Thanksgiving Day traditions. In honor of November being National Family Caregiver Month in the United States, Sunrise Medical would like to say "Thank You for Caring" to family caregivers all over the world. We truly appreciate you and, more importantly, you are not alone.
Below is a list of resources and tips to help caregivers stay connected:
National Organizations: National support groups such CAN and diagnosis specific organizations (e.g. United Cerebral Palsy, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Alzheimer's Foundation of America, Muscular Dystrophy Association, etc.) have fantastic resources available online.
US Military Family Caregivers' Support: VA Caregiver Support
US Government Support: National Family Caregiver Support Program and Eldercare Locator
Local Support Groups: Be sure to look into the local chapters of national organizations because many have support groups. If you aren't able to or don't feel comfortable about attending a group in person, ask if the organization has a virtual group that meets online or via video conference.
Social Media: We encourage you to explore social media groups for caregivers and/or diagnosis-specific social media groups. These groups can be found by visiting the social media links on the websites previously mentioned.
Connect with companies such as Sunrise Medical on their social media outlets. We are frequently sharing content that impacts the lives of the end users and the caregivers of the individuals we design and manufacture equipment for (check out: Sunrise Medical Facebook page, Quickie Wheelchairs Facebook page, Zippie Wheelchairs Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest).
Do YOU know a family caregiver? We encourage you to take a few moments to honor those individuals. Here are a few ideas:
Send a Note: Send a text, email, or better yet a handwritten card via snail mail to tell the person you recognize and appreciate all of the amazing things he/she does for their family member.
Treat them to Dinner: Offer to bring the family caregiver dinner. Don't cook? Bring take-out. Live too far away? Order delivery and pay in advance.
Quality Time: Being a family caregiver can be isolating. If you feel comfortable/qualified, offer to provide the caregiver with some respite. Spend an afternoon with the family member who is being cared for so the caregiver can run errands, go for a walk, or simply take a shower without worrying. If the family caregiver cannot leave, offer to come over to watch a movie or simply spend time with the caregiver while he/she is with their loved one.
Do you have any fantastic resources, tips or ideas to share? We encourage you to leave a comment or send us an email. We love hearing from you, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us!
Always remember at the end of the day, your client is your number one priority!
Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are intended to be utilized as a general resource for clinicians and suppliers to then use clinical reasoning skills to determine optimal seating and mobility solutions for individual clients. Steve and Angie are unable to answer questions from members of the general public including caregivers and end users. Members of the general public should direct specific questions to their own clinicians, medical, suppliers, or other health care professionals.
Posted by: Date: 11/24/2014 12:00:00 AM
Filed under: About