This year on Tuesday, April 5th, take a moment to appreciate the 8.1 million family caregivers across Canada.
Caregivers fill many roles and providing care to a family member or friend takes a lot of time and commitment.
National Family Caregiver Day, which falls annually on the first Tuesday in April, is an important day to acknowledge the significant role family caregivers fill, and to take some time to really understand the challenges they face every day.
It’s a special day to recognize the work family caregivers do each and every day of the year.
These dedicated caregivers take on the responsibility of looking after their family, friends, and sometimes even neighbours who may have limiting physical or cognitive conditions, or who are living with illnesses that require the need for care.
Often unpaid, these caregiving duties are generally in addition to maintaining regular paid jobs, raising children and keeping up with other aspects of their lives.
Being a family caregiver is a full-time responsibility. It’s a responsibility that can bring joy to a lot of people, but it’s also one that comes with constant worry, stress, and fatigue. Finding a good caregiver “work life balance” can often be difficult.
National Family Caregiver Day 2016 is an opportunity to draw attention to the immediate and future needs of family caregivers in Canada.
Did you know that one in four of these Canadian family caregivers are also raising children, and 35 per cent of Canada’s workforce is made up of “employed” family caregivers? These are some pretty big numbers, and chances are you also know someone who is a family caregiver.
Caregivers fill many roles and providing care to a family member or friend takes a lot of time and commitment. The family caregiver needs to be prepared to take on the duties of a nurse, personal support worker, cleaning service, cook, chauffeur, health care advocate, and companion.
Taking on these roles is often done with little time to prepare, and the requirement that you just learn as you go. There can often be a sense of isolation when tasked with these overwhelming responsibilities so caregiver stress management is crucial.
Elizz provides care for caregivers
Elizz was created to help family caregivers in the areas they need it most. Elizz provides services to family caregivers such as:
- Respite care
- Online counselling
- Nurse advisor
- Caregiver coach
- And group support
As well, to help to care for the person being looked after by the caregiver, Elizz provides the following services:
- Virtual visits
- Patient counselling
- Companion care
- Personal care
- And a variety of in-home health services
Sometimes, just getting a bit of outside help can really improve the situation for a family caregiver.
The stress of being a family caregiver can take a physical and emotional toll. It’s so important for family caregivers to prioritize their own health and well-being.
The problem is that being a family caregiver can be all-encompassing and leave you with very little personal time or resources to handle the stress. Read our Elizz articles on relieving stress, and creative ways to take a break, for tips on how to de-stress when caregiving.
Suggestions for honouring your family caregivers
So how can you show your appreciation for the family caregivers you know on National Family Caregivers Day, Tuesday, April 5th?
It’s often the small things that can mean the most. Simply asking, is a great place to start.
You may also be able to treat a family caregiver you know to a coffee break. Or, you may even be able to provide some respite care, and let the family caregiver take a well-deserved break.
Some family caregivers have a hard time asking for help, or might not even recognize they could use a little help.
Offer to help a caregiver you know with a task you can take on. This could be anything from preparing a meal, driving to appointments, or maybe cutting the grass.
There’s a lot we can do to support the family caregivers we know and care about. Let’s start by recognizing them on National Family Caregiver Day by showing your appreciation and support.