Monday, April 25, 2011

There Ought To Be a Holiday

I may have mentioned that I'm teaching a social work class on aging at UTA again this semester, and I've been thinking about tonight's lecture all week. The topic is caregiving. I don't know that I have much new to say about caregivers:

It's a hard job. You have to take care of yourself. If you get sick, you're no good to the care receiver. Take time for yourself.

As professionals, we all know what to say, and most caregivers have heard it over and over and over.

But here's a new message, something we don't talk about as much: If you know a caregiver, be intentional and do something FOR them.

Sometimes what that caregiver needs is a phone call, so they know someone is thinking about them. Sometimes that caregiver needs someone to come clean the house, without having to ask for it. Sometimes the caregiver needs someone to come take care of the care receiver for 2 hours so they can go shop without worrying. And what I know about so many caregivers is that they have a very difficult time asking for help. They feel like they are failing if they admit that they can't do it all.

So I challenge everyone who knows a caregiver to declare Caregiver's Day. It doesn't have to be to today, but it could be once a week or once a month. Do something for that caregiver to let them know they are not forgotten and they are not alone.


  1. That's a great idea. We have Mother's Day, Father's Day, even Grandparents Day, but no caregivers day.

    And while the phone call is important the offer of respite care is even better.

    As a caregiver myself I would have loved to have someone make the offer. It never came for me.

  2. Tony, you're so right. Every yard needs mowing, every house needs to be cleaned, and every caregiver needs a couple of hours of free time. It's too easy to say to the caregiver "Tell me what I can do to help". But caregivers often are too overwhelmed to even think about what they need. Being intentional is the key. And you know, sometimes even a card or flowers to let the caregiver know they aren't alone can make for a better day.