November is National Family Caregivers Month
Each November, we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month — an opportunity for communities across the country to come together to support and recognize the contributions and sacrifices made on a daily basis by family caregivers of all ages. It is estimated that nearly 44 million adults provide care for an adult or child annually. As a family caregiver, it may be easy to feel like you are alone. Please remember, you are not alone.
Family caregivers are the heart and soul of our nation’s long-term care system. Did you know that family caregivers’ make up 80 percent of the long-term care in the United States provided by family and other unpaid caregivers?
In addition, many family caregivers do not realize that they are caregivers. Perhaps it’s because most people think of caregivers as professionals who are trained and paid to provide care for clients with health issues. They may feel that they are just helping out. However, if you offer daily assistance to a spouse or other family member, you may be a caregiver. It is important to recognize this, so you can seek support.
As a family caregiver, it is essential that you take care of your own health. This month, we encourage family caregivers to learn about the services and supports available in southern Illinois. There are more than you realize!
Shawnee Alliance offers a Caregiver Support Program. The goals of this program are:
- To provide information to family caregivers about available services
- To provide assistance to family caregivers in gaining access to services
- To lead family caregivers to individual counseling, support groups or caregiver training
- To provide respite and supplemental services on a limited basis, to complement the care provided by family caregivers
For more information about this program, call (618) 985-8322.
The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter offers a Free 24/7 Helpline – (800) 272-3900. They also have an online Caregiver Center at alz.org/care.
To all family caregivers, thank you for all that you do. We appreciate you. And please remember, you are not alone.