Caring for the Caregivers

November is Family Caregivers Month 

The month of November is celebrated as Family Caregivers Month.  Although this is a time to recognize all of the hard work and love that goes into being a caretaker, these individuals should be acknowledged each and every day for what they do. 

The role of a caregiver varies, depending on who they are caring for.  It can be a mother or father caring for children, a daughter caring for her mother, or a husband taking care of his wife.  No matter what the role, caregiving can be difficult, but it is so rewarding. 

With COVID-19 amongst us, caregiving has taken on a new level.  The need to take precautions when around others and adhering to CDC and other health organizations’ guidelines is a necessity to keep everyone well. Not only are caregivers at a high risk of burnout, depression, and strained relationships, they are at high risk for the virus. 

"During these uncertain times, as a caregiver, it is important to remember to take care of yourself in order to avoid burnout and to remain physically healthy,” said Allison DiMenna LAC, Senior Clinician, Acenda Counseling & Wellness Centers. “Staying healthy and safe is a necessity when you have the responsibility of caring for others."  

older caregiver self care relaxation national caregivers month
Here are 6 ways to help with caregiving, no matter who you are caring for: 
  1. Spend some alone time. Whether it is curling up with a good book, or preparing a recipe you love, having that time to do something enjoyable for YOU, is helpful. 
  2. Get rest. Sleeping is important, because being tired can wear down the immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. Your mood will be better as well. 
  3. Get outdoors. Take a walk around the block. Ride a bike. Being out in the fresh air is important and invigorating! 
  4. Connect with loved ones and friends. Chatting with others, whether by phone or facetime, is a great way to improve your mood and maintain those important relationships. 
  5. Be creative with caregiving. Find ways to engage with those you are caring for by doing arts & crafts, doing virtual tours of museums, zoos, aquariums, puzzles, or watching movies.  
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Maybe you need to do some shopping or have a doctor’s appointment. Being able to count on other people so you have time to yourself or can run errands can make a big difference.  

 Acenda’s Counseling & Wellness Center in Glassboro, NJ offers a weekly Caregiver Therapeutic Group for those that are 60 years of age or older or caring for someone 60 years of age or older. In addition, all of Acenda’s Counseling & Wellness Centers offer individual counseling to help address any mental health concerns you are experiencing. For more information, call 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500).