This is a sponsored post about National Family Caregiver Month written by me on behalf of One2One Network. All opinions are my own.
National Family Caregiver Month
I didn’t learn until recently that November is National Family Caregiver Month. I think it’s fantastic that more awareness is opening up for caregiving as it is something more and more of us are doing for our parents and other family members. In fact, in the United States over 42 million people, mostly women between the ages of 40 to 60, are faced with the challenge of providing care to their older family members and friends each and every day.
While it’s a task that most of us wouldn’t dream not doing for our loved ones, it’s also a very stressful and often thankless job. It’s even worse when the one receiving the care no longer has a positive attitude about life. Plus, our siblings and/or other family members may not be able to offer much help because of their own health issues, children, etc. to know what we face as caregivers, which can also make it a very lonely place.
Though I am only 28, I know how real caregiver issues and the stress that comes from it can be. A majority of my teenage and adult years so far were spent being a caregiver to my parents and helping with a friend’s mother. While I am glad I had the experience of being a caregiver to be there for my loved ones to help extend their quality of life and not have them live in an unknown place they didn’t want to be in, I definitely had an up close and personal view of the stress and own health issues that can arise from that stress. It is a truly heart wrenching time to see your loved ones become frustrated at not being able to do the things they once loved doing, to struggle with day to day activities and sometimes even just become a shell of their former selves.
New research from the AARP has also suggested that caregiving can indeed take a toll on the caregiver’s personal health and overall wellbeing. Since I know from having been a caregiver myself that it can be extremely difficult to ask for help and not feel like you should be able to handle it all, I was so delighted to see a number of resources and websites aimed at helping recognize caregivers for the important work they do.
For example, the Ad Council’s caregiver Assistance Campaign with the AARP has released a series of Public Service Advertisements that take a look at the many roles caregivers have on a daily basis and provide resources to help them cope with those responsibilities. My favorite, though, is ThanksProject.org where you can write a message to thank a caregiver you know and post it publicly with fellow messages from all across the country. You can also find more resources on the AARP Caregiving Resource Center.
Can you identify as a caregiver? Take this quiz to find out!
Since being a caregiver can be so stressful, I’m partnering with One2One Network to give one Smart Savvy Living reader a $50 SpaFinder.com gift card to help them relax! Giveaway is open to legal residents of the 50 United States + DC who are 18+ at the time of entry. Please record all entries on the Rafflecopter below (it may take a minute to load); only the first entry is mandatory, though the optional entries will increase your odds of winning. Smart Savvy Living is not responsible for any prizes with this giveaway. See the Rafflecopter for full terms and conditions.