Happy National Family Caregivers Month! Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter once said, “There are four kinds of people: those who will become caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who were caregivers, and those who will need caregiving themselves.” This month, we celebrate the hard work and dedication of all caregivers.

Caregiving can mean a variety of things. Generally speaking, a caregiver is an “unpaid individual (a spouse, partner, family member, friend, or neighbor) involved in assisting others with activities of daily living and/or medical tasks” (Family Caregiver Alliance). Caregiving can take place within the family for those sick, older, or disabled for a short or long period of time. When given these responsibilities, it is important for the caregiver to take care of themselves as well in order to prevent burnout and exhaustion.

Remember to thank the caregivers you know, especially during this holiday season!

Did You Know?

  • About 75% of those needing care rely on friends and family members (CDC).
  • More women than men are caregivers: an estimated 66% of caregivers are female (FCA).
  • Research suggests that the number of male caregivers may be increasing and will continue to do so due to a variety of social demographic factors (FCA).

Tips for the Caregiver

  1. Rest and Relaxation – Relaxing is the best way to return refreshed to handle your many responsibilities as a caregiver.
  2. Energize – It’s necessary to help you re-energize, reduce stress and provide care for your loved one.
  3. Sleep – Address sleep problems and insomnia before they take too great a toll on your health.
  4. Programs that can help you – look into local, state, or employee-sponsored resources for support.
  5. Imagination – Let your mind run free; read a book; see a movie.
  6. Take Five – …or better yet, take ten. You need a reprieve – a few minutes to temporarily disengage.
  7. Exhale – A few deep breaths can give you more energy, reduce stress, and lift your mood.

Learn more helpful tips and reminders for caregivers.

Sources: Caregiver Action Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Family Caregiver Alliance, National Institutes of Health, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.