National Family Caregivers Month: Remember to Make Time for Yourself

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — November 5, 2019 — 3 min read
When we’re busy helping loved ones do daily tasks like bathing, cleaning the house, shopping for groceries or preparing meals, taking time as caregivers to rest and rejuvenate can get pushed to the bottom of the list.

There are approximately 43.5 million caregivers in the U.S., providing unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP. Over 75 percent of all caregivers are female. Many also work outside the home in either a part-time or full-time job.

Family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care, according to NAC. About one in four caregivers spend 41 or more hours per week providing care.

November is National Family Caregivers Month. This year’s theme is “Caring Around the Clock” and is a reminder to put yourself on the list, too.

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare provides services and supports to help caregivers get the time they need to recharge.
  • Respite: Respite services provide periodic support and relief to the primary caregiver(s) from the responsibility and stress of caring for children ages three to 21 with mental health, developmental disabilities or substance use/addiction service needs, and for adults 21 and over with developmental disabilities. This service enables the primary caregiver(s) to meet or participate in scheduled and unscheduled events and to have time away from caring for the member. Learn more about our Respite services here
  • Natural Supports Education: This service provides training and education to your family and your natural support network about the nature and impact of your disability, strategies for helping you and specialized equipment/supplies you use. Natural Supports are different for every person; they help you develop a sense of social belonging, dignity and self-esteem. Your natural supports are people who do things with you without pay. You also contribute to the relationship as both people in the relationship support each other. This service also pays for up to $1,000 for enrollment fees and materials related to attendance at conferences and classes by your primary caregiver and other people in your natural support network, which help them develop skills to support you in having greater access to the community.
Tips for Caregivers:
  • Take care of your own needs: don’t wait until you are exhausted to take a break from providing care. Plan for a break and do something that is meaningful to you.
  • Seek support: Both online and in-person support groups can be a great way to share feelings and difficulties and to get ideas related to your caregiving efforts.
  • Stay in touch with friends: Socializing with friends can help reduce stress and be a good way to refresh.
  • Don’t feel guilty about needing a break: It’s normal to need time to rest and recharge.
For more information and resources on caregiving, visit National Alliance for Caregiving
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