National Family Caregivers Month 2020
National Family Caregivers Month 2020 — the month of November is reserved to recognize and appreciate unpaid caregivers and everything they do. During this month, advocacy organizations and support groups promote events around North America to raise awareness about the resources caregivers need.
This observance started in 1994 when the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) pushed for a month to promote informal caregivers’ monetary and psychological value.
Every president has recognized the 53 million-plus family caregivers who care for their aging, ill, or disabled loved ones since 2000.
In his 2000 Proclamation of National Family Caregivers Month, former President Bill Clinton said,
“These everyday heroes, living quietly among us in families and communities across the country, are the major source of long-term care in America. By providing billions of dollars’ worth of caregiving services each year, they dramatically reduce the demands on our Nation’s health care system and make an extraordinary contribution to the quality of life of their loved ones.”
The Importance Of National Family Caregivers Month
Caregiving has many benefits, and providing care for a loved one can be rewarding. However, caregiver burnout is common, as this role can have a strong effect on many aspects of the caregiver’s life. Consequently, many experience decreased physical and mental health, poor work/life balance, or trouble maintaining their social needs.
Family caregivers come from every age, according to the AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving’s 2015 report, Caregiving In The US.
- 43% were between 50 and 64 years old
- 25% were between 35 and 49
- 25% were between the ages of 18 and 34.
For the last twenty years, the rate of caregivers aged 75 years or older has risen. In 2015, this age group made up 7% of all caregivers. Researchers found that most older caregivers assist spouses with heart disease or dementia. More often than not, their souse’s condition requires more than 34 hours of high-level care every week. Furthermore, most respondents said they had been offering this assistance for over five years.
Not only is the number of older caregivers increasing, but so is the rate of millennial caregivers. This group faces its own set of unique challenges that previous generations have not. During November, advocates work to connect both groups with important resources.
National Family Caregiver’s Month And COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated countless aspects of our lives. As the world continues struggling with the virus, you may feel accustomed to emotions like stress, worry, and isolation.
While caregivers grapple with the changes brought on by the pandemic, they must still meet the needs of their loved ones every day. Appointments must be kept and medications must be picked up. Even before COVID-19, fulfilling this role was challenging. But now, it can feel more overwhelming.
The stress of caregiving can take a significant toll on the individual’s mental health. As a result, many often struggle with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), problematic relationships with substances, and anxiety.
As a caregiver, you may feel that your schedule has no room for self-care, especially now. However, maintaining your mental health is crucial to your loved one’s continued care. Many organizations connect caregivers with resources and tools to better support themselves and their loved ones, including:
- Mental health resources from Mental Health America
- National Family Caregiver Support Program
- Eldercare Locator
- Family Caregiver Alliance
- Caregiver Action Network
Look for these resources and more during this year’s National Family Caregiver’s Month.
Meetcaregivers Can Help
We want to support caregivers, their families, and the loved ones they support throughout National Family Caregivers Month and every day of the year.
We’re here to help — from free meal delivery, resources for local caregivers, or pairing your loved one with the perfect caregiver.
For more, visit the Blog.
- AARP. “Family Caregiver Month: Honor Caregivers This November.” AARP, 3 Oct. 2019, www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2019/national-family-caregivers-month.html.
- Jr., Steven May. “Resources.” The National Alliance for Caregiving, 2 Nov. 2010, www.caregiving.org/resources/.
- “National Family Caregivers Month.” Mental Health America, www.mhanational.org/national-family-caregivers-month.