This month is National Family Caregivers Awareness Month. Since mesothelioma is a very aggressive disease, patients rely on caregivers to help them during their cancer battle. Mesothelioma caregivers play an essential role by providing assistance and aid to mesothelioma patients when they need it most.
When Is National Family Caregivers Month?
November is National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) — a month-long awareness event to support, thank, and recognize those who dedicate their lives to give care to those who need it.
According to Mental Health America, over 53 million Americans are unpaid caregivers to their family, friends, and neighbors.
This observance celebration is led by Caregiver Action Network (CAN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting caregivers with educational and support resources.
According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), almost 50% of caregivers are over the age of 50 and are more vulnerable to declining health. The ACL also states that support services can decrease the risk of caregivers developing anxiety, depression, and stress.
What Is National Family Caregivers Month?
The goals of National Family Caregivers Month are to educate the public on issues related to
caregiving and to provide support for caregivers working tirelessly to help others.
Each National Family Caregivers Month focuses on a central topic in the caregiving world. This year, CAN announced the #CaregiverAnd effort to allow caregivers to share their other passions.
This theme advocates for caregivers to lead a fulfilling life outside of their care duties. As many adult caregivers work full-time in addition to tending to their loved ones, it is important for them to engage in activities to satisfy their own self-care needs.
The Importance of Mesothelioma Caregivers
Mesothelioma doctors and specialists are not the only ones who care for patients. Caregivers play a crucial role in the daily lives of mesothelioma patients.
Patients undergoing treatment may require the help of a loved one to coordinate their daily care needs and navigate busy treatment schedules. Caregiver roles can range from spouses, children, friends, family members, or even professional home health aides.
Mesothelioma caregivers help loved ones and patients by:
- Administering daily medications
- Assisting with personal hygiene
- Buying groceries
- Completing housework and other chores
- Driving to and from appointments
- Monitoring symptoms
- Organizing daily schedules
- Preparing meals
Because mesothelioma is such an aggressive disease, many caregivers are also responsible for coordinating end-of-life care.
These responsibilities can take a toll on a caregiver’s mental health. National Family Caregiver Month spotlights the importance of caregivers focusing on their needs and taking the time for self-care.
Download our free Self-Care for Caregivers Guide and share it with a mesothelioma caregiver you know.
How to Support Mesothelioma Caregivers This November
November is a perfect time to show your support for caregivers who dedicate their time to caring for those who need it most.
Caregivers are often so busy that they forget to take time for themselves, but there are several ways family and friends can help relieve the stress a caregiver may face.
Here are some ways to support caregivers this November:
- Cook a caregiver a meal
- Go for a walk with the caregiver
- Offer to help out with daily responsibilities
- Send a caregiver a thank-you note
- Show appreciation for a caregiver on social media
- Download our self-care guide and share it with a caregiver you know
If you are a caregiver, be sure to take some time out of your busy schedule to do something you enjoy. Whether it be a quiet walk around the neighborhood or watching your favorite movie, don’t forget your own self-care.
This November, take the time to focus on your mental health to help reduce feelings of stress and become a better caregiver.
To learn more about stress-relieving tips for caregivers, download our free Self-Care for Caregivers Guide.