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.