November is national caregivers month a time to recognize and honor family caregivers

Maryland

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The pandemic has caused a lot of people to experience things for the first time, such as caregiving. Many home care workers are no longer entering homes, which leaves the sole caregiving to family members.

According to data from the AARP, almost 42 million Americans, serve as caregivers for relatives, and since the pandemic began many more people have assumed the role of a caregiver.

In order to raise awareness on the topic of caregiving, the month of November is used as a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country.

It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, spread knowledge to others, and show support for those working as a caregiver.

Ashley Jackson-Thompson is a family caregiver, who cares for her husband Troy Thompson.

When the two got married, her husband was battling cancer and lost a part of his brain, however, Ashley took on the role of caregiver and tried her best to nurse him back to health.

Jackson-Thompson says although caregiving is difficult, especially during a pandemic, it’s important to care for your loved ones and utilize online support.

“Life is very unpredictable, and sometimes you feel defeated, but I believe caring for a loved one shows just how strong you are. It’s important to also care for yourself because if you don’t ensure your health mentally and physically, it will be hard for you to care for your loved one,” said Jackson-Thompson.

Family caregivers recommend these tips for anyone caring for a loved: 

  • Seek support from other caregivers: online resources are helpful and allow you to not feel alone. 
  • Take care of your health: ensuring your own health will allow you to be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  • Accept offers of help: Suggest specific things people can do to help you better care for yourself and your loved one. 

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