November is National Family Caregivers Month. Honor the family caregiver you know by surprising them with a random act of kindness.
People across America are taking up the challenge of caring for those in need. From driving their charges to medical appointments and organizing nursing visits to preparing meals and being there around the clock, many family members or close family friends are putting their personal and professional goals on hold to care for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers –even their sons and daughters. The numbers are impressive:
- An estimated 10 million millennials (ages 18 to 34) are caring for adult family members – about 25% of U.S. caregivers.
- Nearly half of all adult caregivers are younger than 50.
- More than 15 million family and friends provide care to people with dementia, which can require caregiving for years.
- 5 million people give care to veterans or current members of the military – 1.1 million of these care for post-9/11 veterans and military members.
- Family caregivers are predominantly women – 40% are men.
- 6 in 10 caregivers perform take on complex medical tasks once performed by doctors and nurses; more than 4 in 10 say they receive little or no training.
The really distressing news is, 40-70% of caregivers have significant symptoms of depression as a result.
Respite: Care for Caregivers
If you know someone who is a caregiver, that person is likely to need a little TLC – from you. The theme for National Family Caregivers Month 2015 is Respite: Care for Caregivers. Each letter of RESPITE stands for something:
R is for “Rest and Relaxation”
E is for “Energize”
S is for “Sleep”
P is for “Programs that can help you”
I is for “Imagination”
T is for “Take Five”
E is for “Exhale”
Such a lovely word, respite – it means, “the chance to take a breather, the opportunity to re-energize.” It’s also the key to a caregiver’s well-being, protecting health, strengthening family relationships and preventing burn-out, which allows loved ones being cared for to stay at home up to three times longer.
Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers
In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, why not show the family caregiver in your life your thanks for all the care they give? Here are a few ideas from the folks at AARP (plus a few of our own):
- Send her a bouquet of flowers
- Give a boxed DVD set of his favorite television show
- Treat her to a special spa day
- Help tutor his children
- Pick up her kids from school and deliver them to all their after-school events
- Donate your vacation days or frequent flyer miles to a caregiver co-worker
- Cook him his favorite meal or bake him cookies
- If she’s frustrated by technology, send over a geek to help get her devices working
- Do his grocery shopping for a week
- Offer to do her gardening chores like grass cutting, leaf raking, snow blowing and the like
- Grab a couple of board games or a deck of cards and stop by for an evening of play
- Create for her a custom engraved, personalized plaque, award, sign or gift from PlaqueMaker.com
PlaqueMaker.com is a family-owned and operated business located in Indiana. Our custom engraved plaques and more are proudly designed in the USA, using materials sourced from all over the world – that’s 4 million plaques and counting since 1999! Our professionally-trained graphic designers, craftsmen and customer service representatives manage every aspect of your creative project personally, from design to manufacture to delivery. Because we’re an online-only operation with a single, locally-owned facility, we can offer a secure order process, lower prices and the fastest possible completion. What’s more – we stand behind our products with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Learn more about random acts of kindness for caregivers at aarp.org/caregiverkindness