When my grandmother became ill, my wife and I suddenly took over the role of caregivers. During that time I would work for several hours as my wife took care of her and take over in the evening. I can assure you it wasn’t easy. We had to learn everything, including administering medication, taking her to appointments and dressing her (well, my wife did that).
Things got to a rough patch. My wife delivered a beautiful daughter, and this meant that our work would be more difficult. I couldn’t afford to hire a nanny, so we had to take on the responsibilities. I mean, there were lunches and dinners to make, a kid to take care of, and other house chores to do. I was helping out where I could but I could see the fatigue my wife had. There are times I would come home from work and find her asleep on the couch fully clothed, probably because she was so exhausted to go to the bedroom.
Long story short, even though we are now used to it and loving every moment of taking care of our grandma, I can tell you that it hasn’t been a walk in the park. It’s not easy being a caregiver – you must devote yourself to it and take up the task wholeheartedly.
November is National Family Caregiver month. It is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate all those people who have taken on the role of being a caregiver. We should all take some time to honor, support and thank them. They deserve nothing less!
History of National Family Caregiver Month
National Family Caregiver Month is not a new thing; the initiative was started by the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) in 1994, but it was officially recognized in 1997 when President Clinton signed the first National Family Caregiver Presidential Proclamation. Ever since, every president of the US has followed suit, issuing a proclamation annually to honor and recognize the millions of caregivers every November.
According to the Caregiver Action Network, this year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock”. The organization is looking to raise awareness about issues affecting caregivers, celebrate their efforts, educate them on self-identification, and increase their support.
Let’s all be part of this noble cause by celebrating the day in the following ways….
5 Ways to Celebrate the National Family Caregiver Month
- Brighten a Caregiver’s Day by Giving them a Beautiful Bouquet– Caregiving can be upsetting and sometimes even stressful, so why not make that caregiver smile? Get some vibrant and colorful flowers to show that you appreciate their work. You can even get some artificial flowers, or a live plant, that will make them remember your act for days and months to come.
- Give them Respite Care – Caregiving is a full-time job. Even if it’s a single afternoon or a whole day, go ahead and give a caregiver this gift. Take on whatever tasks they had and do it to your level best, and trust me – it will mean a lot to them!
- Let them Enjoy the Great Outdoors– Hey, it’s Fall! Caregivers usually spend much of their times indoors, so it would be a nice gesture to take them to a corn maze or a hayride where you can indulge in some fun activities. You could even get bakeware and make fall-themed cupcakes.
- Help with Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah Prep – I know, it’s not yet even Thanksgiving yet, but the holiday season is approaching fast and there could be a lot of things to do and prepare for it. You could help lighten up their load by simply getting a head start on shopping. If it’s a Thanksgiving dinnerware set for the party, go ahead and get it in advance; if it’s Christmas decorations, check out the available options and purchase well ahead of time. You might help them get a good discount too!
- Help the Care Recipient Pen Down a Letter to Them – Yes, your caregiver friend will appreciate the good things you are doing to show your appreciation, but don’t you think they will feel better if they hear it from from the care recipient? Go ahead and help the person they care for write down a heartfelt card or letter and present it themselves. This will mean so much to the caregiver.
Not many people would manage the job family caregivers do. In fact, if they were to be given a salary, it would be six figures or more per year. What I am trying to say is that the job these beautiful souls do is priceless. Make sure that you honor and celebrate a family caregiver this fall, and let them know that their time and energy doesn’t go unnoticed.
Whether you’re taking care of an elderly person who needs support of a wheelchair to move, a senior suffering from Alzheimer’s, or even a child with special needs, know that TopProducts celebrates you!
For those of you reading this who are caregivers, I want to leave you with these 10 Tips for Family Caregivers from the Caregivers Action Network.
To learn more about the National Family Caregiver Month and the theme for this year, visit the Caregiver Action Network’s website today.
Visit TopProducts today for a wide range of products related to Thanksgiving, fall and winter today. If you wish to get some grandparents gifts, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, we have reviews for those as well. We’ve got you covered!
James N Wambui, TopProducts Staff Writer