November is celebrated as National Family Caregiver (NCGM) each year in the United States. With over 50 million people providing unpaid care to a family member or loved one in the U.S., these selfless heroes deserve to be honored. With that in mind, the Long Island attorneys at Eghrari Wealth Training Firm offer suggestions for ways you can celebrate National Family Caregiver Month this year.
The Life of a Caregiver
Providing unpaid care to a loved one undeniably takes a toll on a caregiver. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unpaid caregivers suffer mentally, physically, and financially with about 15 percent of caregivers admitting to having at least one mentally unhealthy day and another 18 percent having at least one physically unhealthy day during the most recent month. For a caregiver to successfully provide care to a loved one, the caregiver needs to take care of himself or herself. Unfortunately, caregivers often fail to do that. Knowing that, one of the best ways to celebrate National Family Caregiver Month is to focus on what you can do to honor and help a caregiver, such as:
- Buy a caregiver a gift card. Caregivers often suffer financially and put their own needs and wants aside to be able to provide care. Buying a $20 gift certificate to a caregiver’s favorite store is one way to show them that you appreciate them.
- Offer to cook. For a caregiver, cooking is often a chore, a daily obligation. Sometimes they must cook for their loved one then go home and cook for their immediate family. Offering to cook for a day, or even a week, can give a caregiver a much-deserved break. You can even prepare meals ahead of time that can be frozen.
- Offer to clean. Another common daily chore for a caregiver is cleaning. Again, they may even have to clean two houses on a regular basis. Taking over the cleaning duties for a few days will undoubtedly be appreciated. You might also look into hiring a service to clean once a month for the next year if you can afford to do so and are unable to do the cleaning yourself.
- Offer to drive. Caregivers are frequently responsible for transporting their loved ones to doctor appointments, shopping, or to social activities. If you cannot personally drive, you can offer to arrange for a rideshare to provide transportation.
- Take over making calls and scheduling. Caregivers often spend an inordinate amount of time making calls and scheduling appointments to keep benefits current and to make sure that their loved one’s medical needs are met. Taking over those phone calls and coordinating things removes one task from a caregiver’s full plate.
- Take over caregiving. If you can, offer to take over all caregiving duties for a single day, for one day a week, or even for a day each month for the next year. That one day break will mean more to a caregiver than you probably realize.
- Help with finances. If you can afford to contribute to your caregiver monetarily, do so. Even if you cannot afford to do that, taking over the financial duties of a caregiver (balancing the checkbook, applying for benefits, creating a budget) can be helpful.
Are You Looking for Caregiver Support Resources?
For more information, we encourage you to download one of our elder law reports. If you have additional questions about how to help a caregiver or how to provide care for a loved one, contact the Long Island estate planning attorneys at Eghrari Wealth Training Firm by calling us at 631-265-0599 to schedule your appointment.