National Family Caregivers Month: Recognize the Caregivers in Your Life

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Home Instead Senior Care shares tips to support caregivers and the challenges they face around the clock

During the month of November, Home Instead Senior Care and families across the nation are celebrating National Family Caregivers Month. Established in 2012, the observance is a time to recognize and honor family members, friends and neighbors who devote countless hours to taking care of loved ones. This November, the Home Instead network is partnering with the National Alliance for Caregiving to offer tips for families to support their caregivers.

“Many caregivers don’t think of themselves as ‘caregivers’ – they’re just doing what needs to be done,” said Lakelyn Hogan, caregiver advocate at Home Instead Senior Care. “Family caregivers – and all caregivers – deserve recognition for their efforts every day. It’s extremely important to have the support they need from their families to be able to care for themselves, while also caring for aging loved ones.”

Caregiving is often a responsibility that goes unnoticed. According to a 2015 report by the AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving, approximately 43.5 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult or a child. On average, caregivers spend more than 24 hours a week providing care to their loved ones.

Home Instead invites everyone to recognize National Family Caregivers Month with five tips to support and help combat caregiver stress.

1.    Be positive. Sit down with your family caregiver and make a list each day of things that are good in life. This could be a cool breeze, sunshine or an accomplishment at school or work. Avoid sharing any negative thoughts or criticism. Everyone can benefit from positive thinking in their life.
2.    Go for a walk with your family caregiver. Exercise and a healthy diet can go a long way to improve mood and maintain positivity. Something as simple as a walk outside can reduce stress, increase energy and foster good sleep habits.
3.    Laugh out loud. Not only does laughter make everyone feel good, its positive effects stay with you long after the chuckling subsides. Research shows that laughter lowers stress hormones, relaxes muscles, improves mood and eases anxiety.
4.    Allow your family caregiver to take some time off. Caregivers often face challenges around the clock – from morning to the middle of the night. Having a few hours allows them to recharge and maintain an optimistic outlook. If possible, offer to step in for caregiving duties or enlist professional help.
5.    Recognize the emotional and physical signs of stress. Two in five caregivers consider their caregiving situation to be emotionally stressful, while one in five report a high level of physical strain. Emotional signs include anxiety, depression and moodiness. Physical signs include disturbed sleep, back, shoulder or neck pain, muscle tension, headaches, weight fluctuation and fatigue.

For more information on supporting the well-being of family caregivers, visit http://www.caregiverstress.com.

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ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Neb., by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today this network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family care education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.

ABOUT NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR CAREGIVING
Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. The Alliance conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. Recognizing that family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, the Alliance supports a network of more than 80 state and local caregiving coalitions and serves as Secretariat for the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO). Learn more at http://www.caregiving.org.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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