Caregiver Appreciation Day Goes Beyond a Single Day
Caregivers support our society as a whole in so many ways and often get overlooked. While caregiver appreciation day was earlier this month, it is important that support and appreciation is shown for the caregivers in our lives year round and often. Believe it or not, 29% of the U.S. population, that means over 65 million Americans are caregivers in some way. While both paid and unpaid caregivers should be appreciated, it is important to call out that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are over 40 million Americans who provide unpaid care to the elderly alone. Whether the caregivers you know are friends, family, coworkers, or employees, there are many ways to reach out and let them know you care.
Tips to Show You Care for Caregivers
- Give them a day off – this can be a big one, but you could take over their duties for a day or hire someone to fill in for them.
- Offer to helping hand – can you pick up their children from school or walk their dog. This will give the caregiver a break from their other responsibilities.
- Provide a homemade meal – between juggling caregiving and a career it can be hard to think of meals ahead of time. You can do a grocery run for them, prepare a meal on a specific day, bring a meal that can be freezer-friendly, or start a meal train with a few friends and take turns signing up for different days for a week.
- Encourage self-care – help the caregiver find time to take a break from their duties and put themselves first for a day. Maybe take then to the spa.
- Offer your listening ear – find time to take them to coffee or to lunch and ask them how they are doing. Go into this wanting to really listen.
- Write a note – taking the time to sit down and reflect on how they are helpful and then communicating that to them can go a long way. It shows that someone is noticing them.
- Invite them to social outings – even if the caregiver often turns you down. Knowing that your friends still want you to join is important, even if you can’t make it.
- Offer help with research – this means you can help your caregiving friend make a decision about what to do in terms of giving care. This can mean helping them find someone like Freedom Home Care that provides in home care for their loved one or finding a more personalized elder care plan of support.
The Big Picture of Caregiving
Often times caregivers are overwhelmed in silence because they don’t want to seem to complain or because they feel they are the only ones having trouble with a particular part of caregiving. Let them know they are not alone and that care for them is also important. If nothing else, know that acknowledging the caregiver goes a long way. It is often a role that makes people feel invisible, fight this and fight this frequently. Checking in doesn’t need to take a long time and it can easily become part of how we care for the caregivers in our lives. Our certified caregivers love providing in-home care services and just a little appreciation can go a long way in helping them back!