November is National Family Caregivers Month

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Caregiver taking care of a senior and a child 

Here in Canada, communities across the nation recognize November 11th as the day to remember the fallen heroes; the ones who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom and peace. However, not many know that the entire month of November is dedicated to recognizing another type of hero: family caregivers.  

Individuals caring for a senior parent, or a loved one, sacrifice a lot of their own time and even their wellbeing. They undoubtedly experience a wide range of emotions on their caregiving journey. A majority of caregivers experience the positive side of emotions, such as love and appreciation. However, there are multiple factors that influence the prevalence of negative feelings, such as the vast amount of time needed to dedicate to a loved one, if their loved one has any form of dementia or progressive illness, or the stress of anticipating the unknown. There are multiple issues that could result in “caregiver burnout”, like lack of sleep, lack of privacy, and the unknown.

           

Home Instead Senior Care conducted interviews with over 400 family caregivers across Canada, between the ages of 45 to 64, to better understand how the nation’s caregivers are coping with caring for their senior loved ones. The three most common negative emotions are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and frustrated. One third feel as though they need to hide or repress their feelings

Caregiver positive and negative emotions

Despite all these findings surrounding the notion of negativity, almost every single person questioned (96%) said that caregiving is extremely rewarding for them. So, the question is, how can family caregivers continue to do what they love while avoiding caregiver burnout?

Here are some tips from the Help for Alzheimer’s Family Website, from their article called “Tips to Avoid Caregiver Burnout”. To read the full article, please click here!

  1. Keep a Journal of Your Feelings
  2. Talk with a Friend
  3. Find a Support Group
  4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
  5. Take a Break
  6. Take Care of Yourself

Home Instead Senior Care provides family caregivers with the support they need. We are trying to minimize the feeling of needing to repress those negative emotions. You might be interested in the Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia Support Groups we host on a monthly basis. One is held in the Sunrise Senior Living of Erin Mills (4042 Erin Mills Parkway, Mississauga, ON L5L 2W7) on the last Tuesday of each month, from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. The other session is held at the Sunrise Senior Living of Mississauga (1279 Burnhamthorpe Road East, Mississauga, ON L4Y 3V7) on the last Thursday of each month, from 6:00pm – 7:30pm.

We are constantly hosting public education for family caregivers, who need support for caring for loved ones with progressive illnesses such as COPD, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Parkinsons, and more. If you would like to receive notifications about when we’re hosting public education sessions and more, please follow and like us on Facebook! You may also email Jennifer Churchill, our Education Coordinator and the Etobicoke Guardian’s Urban Hero, at jchurchill@homeinstead.com.

If you want to learn more about our services, please visit our website or call our office at 416.239.2200.

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