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."
Here are 6 ways to help with caregiving, no matter who you are caring for:
- 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.
- 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.
- Get outdoors. Take a walk around the block. Ride a bike. Being out in the fresh air is important and invigorating!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).