November is National Family Caregivers Month. There are more than 40 million people who serve as unpaid caregivers for family members with functional impairment, disabilities, and/or terminal or chronic illnesses.
These caregivers are essential in the role they play to ensure the well-being and health of their family, and they need support and compassionate care. As the pandemic continues, caregivers are continuing to provide a vital lifeline of devotion, energy, immeasurable time, encouragement, resources and hope. The additional stress of caregiving may take a significant toll on someone’s mental wellness. This might be seen as struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and/or a problematic relationship with substances.
It is really important for caregivers to maintain their mental well-being, even if the caregiver feels they have no time to schedule self-care. That self-care could be accepting offers from others to help, taking care of their own health, checking in with themselves to make sure they are not becoming depressed and being open to new technologies that can assist in the care for their family member.
The National Alliance for Caregiving (caregiving.org) provides an array of valuable information that range from family supports, professional resources and virtual toolkits.