National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM), celebrated throughout November, is a time to recognize and honor the efforts of those who selflessly give of themselves to support and care for their loved ones. This role often requires massive physical, emotional, and mental strength. Caregiving can be challenging and stressful, and caregivers deserve applause for all they do.
According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), family members over 50 are often the primary source of support for older adults and people with disabilities in the U.S. The Amputee Coalition will offer helpful tips and resources throughout the month that may help reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress and empower them to take care of themselves.
This week we highlight organization tips to help reduce stress.
- Accept and recognize that some things are out of your control. Try to avoid allowing yourself to worry or stress about something that is out of your control. Redirect that energy to something more productive, such as a project or task in which you control the outcome.
- Prioritize your daily routine. Get rid of unnecessary tasks or self-imposed obligations that decrease your internal energy.
- Be flexible. Things may happen that are out of your control. Be flexible. It’s ok to change priorities.
- Organize your loved one’s financial, legal, and medical records. This information should be easily accessible and in an order that makes sense to you and others in the support system. Having these materials readily available in case of an emergency can reduce stress.
- Keep important information within reach. Post lists of phone numbers, medications, and other important information in a location where they are easily accessed. Consider keeping this document handy with a pocket magnet on the refrigerator and sharing it with other family members.
- Know your limits. Taking on more than you can handle will increase your stress level. It’s ok to ask for help.
The Administration for Community Living offers programs and councils to engage, support, and empower caregivers. The Caregiver Action Network, which spearheads National Family Caregivers Month, offers a Family Caregiver Toolkit to support your efforts. Also, read the Presidential Proclamation for 2022 National Caregivers Month.
Stay tuned throughout the month for more helpful tips to empower caregivers.