Are you a family caregiver to a senior friend, neighbor, or loved one?
Many of you who are caregivers would answer that question “no,” not realizing you truly are.
It’s not a label of which one should be afraid or embarrassed to be given, but a reason to be proud.
You are one of the millions of Americans providing care — whether hands-on, ‘just’ helping, or while living a distance away — to loved ones, a group that contributes billions in services to the US economy with payment beyond knowing we are helping someone we love have a better life – – and a “thank you” now and then.
Most important, though, you are THE one for the loved one to whom you are providing care.
Importance of Knowing You’re a Caregiver
Why, you may ask, does it matter if you think of yourself as a family caregiver if you are filling that role for someone?
It really comes down to realizing the impact providing care can have on YOU.
Family caregivers often set aside their own needs while focused on the needs of those for whom they care. Those who don’t see themselves as family caregivers fail to recognize the need to care for their own needs as well as those of others.
While helping your loved one get to their doctor appointments, for example, you might ignore making one you need for yourself because there is not time to do it all.
While helping them get the good meals and rest they need to stay healthy, you might be overlooking those same needs of your own, endangering your own health and ability to provide them the level of care you want to provide.
We Care About the Caregivers, Too
We realize it is important to remind family caregivers to make time to care for themselves, which many simply do not do enough of the time. For some, it may mean reaching out to others for support, which is difficult for many of us to do.
First, though, family caregivers have to identify themselves as such.
Our effort to find creative ways to help more family caregivers realize they are filling that role and get the support they need led us to record the “You Might Be a Family Caregiver”
feature film short YouTube video below, a respectful adaptation of Jeff Foxworthy’s signature routine.
The video is, we hope, a cute way to let you know there are many things you can do for senior loved ones that would make you a family caregiver. We know we’ve just scratched the surface so hope you’ll take a look at the video and let us know what additional items we might have listed.
We hope you’ll share the video with those you know who are family caregivers and may not realize it so they understand their needs are important too.
We hope you enjoy the video and find it insightful. We’re looking forward to your feedback!