Caring for the Caregivers
November is National Family Caregivers Month. A caregiver is someone who helps tend to another person’s needs on a daily basis. For some, it is caring for an older relative, a child with special needs – physical or mental – an adult with special needs, or a spouse with a medical condition or mental health challenge. Some days can truly seem overwhelming. And this is normal. Taking care of others on an ongoing basis is difficult – emotionally, mentally and physically. This is why breaks are necessary and helpful to anyone who is in this type of role.
When does a caregiver need help?
Here are some signs that a caregiver may need some help themselves.
- Lack of sleep or too much sleep.
- Feeling overwhelmed.
- Sadness or constant worry.
How do you help a caregiver?
Here are some ways to a caregiver can help themselves, or for you to help a caregiver.
- Eat well, or deliver a ready-to-eat healthy, delicious meal.
- Watch a comedy – laughter really does help.
- Enjoy some time off – obtain respite care services or enlist a volunteer to help so you, or the caregiver, can indulge in self-care.
- Write in a journal. Expressing your thoughts and feelings does help.
- Take a walk, it is good for the mind and body.
- Enjoy some music or meditation – or both.
- Find a support group, or faith-based support system to help.
- Dabble with an art – play music, paint, craft, quilt, sew, knit, etc.
- Connect with your friends. Enjoy a few hours off of caregiving.
Mental Health Association of Fauquier County is a nonprofit organization that serves Fauquier and Rappahannock counties and is an affiliate of Mental Health America, which has created an online guide to help new mental health caregivers navigate their role.
Helps provide support and respite opportunities for caregivers and is available to families in Fauquier, Rappahannock and Culpeper counties. It is a ministry of Cornerstone Baptist Church.
Helps the older population by making sure that local residents have the services and supports they need. This entity is driven by partnerships with over 150 regional organizations and individuals.
It’s mission is to “sustain and enrich the lives of residents of Rappahannock County and adjacent areas and to allow them to age in the community comfortably, safely, independently and with peace of mind by fostering the community support and services needed to do so.”
Offers individuals and families support by providing resources, information, engaging in advocacy through community- and state-wide networks, and by assisting people in navigating the Medicaid waiver system.