November is National Family Caregivers Month, and we’re taking the time to celebrate those who give of themselves to support those that need help on a regular basis.
Caregivers are a huge part of so many lives. In fact, according to the Caregiver Action Network, two-thirds of workers ages 45-74 average an additional 20 hours a week providing care to others. Additionally, AARP estimates 39.8 million Americans are providing unpaid care for an adult—typically a family member.*
Those are significant numbers that drive home the point that caregivers need care as well.
Tips for caregivers to stay happy and healthy
Caregiving is tough, and caregivers often experience extreme stress as a result. According to Eldersource, stress from caregiving affects one in three people in the U.S., which can lead to a variety of conditions including isolation, poor physical health and depression.**
If you’re a caregiver, please consider the following tips:
- Take time for yourself. It’s important to rest so you can recharge. Being exhausted isn’t good for you or the person you’re caring for.
- Accept assistance from others. You can’t do it all on your own, so when a friend or family member offers to help, try your best to take it.
- Talk with other caregivers. Remember those numbers from the beginning of this article? They show you’re not alone. Reach out to local support groups, so you can share your struggles and learn from others.
- Take advantage of available resources. There are tons of information, programs, and tools out there designed to make your life easier. Check out the following sources:
And if you know a caregiver, take the extra effort to give them a break. Offer to take their place for a day or even a couple hours. If possible, you can also ask if there are tasks that you can take on regularly.
Support caregiving employees
When speaking with employees who are or might be caregivers, remind them that with Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage through LifeMap, they have access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Reliant Behavioral Health. This program provides counseling sessions by phone or in person, as well as access to tools that help people navigate the caregiving process.
And if your company does not have LTD with LifeMap, you can purchase a Basic or Enhanced EAP as long as you have other LifeMap coverage. Visit LifeMapCo.com for more information, or speak with your sales or account executive.
*AARP Caregiving in the U.S. 2015
** Eldersource – helpacaregiver.org