November is National Family Caregiver Month.
National Family Caregiver Month is very close to my heart. Did you know that there are over 90 million family caregivers in the United States? They may be the only caregiver in the home.
Caregivers are twice as likely to suffer from depression or be at risk of depression. Studies show that one in five caregivers admit to postponing their own health means because they’re taking care of a loved one.
I have a unique perspective regarding caregivers because I have been the patient and the caregiver.
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2008 and underwent treatment in 2009. My husband was my primary caregiver along with my mom, mother-in-law and daughters.
Recently, I have found myself as a caregiver for a close friend and my sister. Even though I am not the primary caregiver, I understand so much more and appreciate what my family did for me.
I didn’t realized the sacrifices my family made while caring for me when I was sick. Both of my daughters gave up activities in order to assist me. My husband assumed most of the household duties and meal planning.
Now, my husband is very sensitive to those who are undertaking the role of the caregiver. I have noticed that he always asks the caregiver how they are doing. He told me he does that because nobody asked him how he was doing when he was taking care of me. So often, caregivers are the overlooked travelers on the cancer journey or when dealing with a serious illness.
Appreciate The Family Caregiver
Caregivers usually give so much to others that they rarely think of themselves. I wish I would have realized this sooner. Here is a collection of gifts for caregivers. Plus, I have a free resource at the end of this article.
I invite you to sign up for my newsletter, where you will receive my special opt-in, “Ways to Care For Someone With a Serious Illness”. This is a tremendous resource to caregivers.