For many people, Valentine’s Day is when you show the special person in your life just how much you care for them. However, as a round-the-clock caregiver, you demonstrate true love each and every day, giving your whole heart and full attention to the person who needs you the most.
This holiday, we want to celebrate you and everything you do to keep your loved one home with you. Here are just a few reasons why caregivers like you are so amazing in our eyes:
- The number of you helping others. Right now in the U.S., there are more than 34 million of you who provide unpaid care to a loved one over age 50, and 4 million professionals working in the home health care field, including the dedicated home health care staff at AccuCare in St. Louis.
- Your burgeoning medical skills. Years ago, you may never have pictured yourself adjusting your partner’s nasal cannula or giving insulin shots to your parent. But by working with your loved one’s nurses and healthcare providers, you’ve become an extension of their medical team at home, helping keep them out of the hospital and the nursing home.
- When you take a break for yourself. Practicing self-care is as important to your loved one as it is for you. When you go out for coffee with friends or take a walk outside by yourself, that time outside of the house helps you decompress and relax, which lowers your stress and risk of related health issues, such as high blood pressure and reduced immunity.
- Your role as an advocate. In many cases, you’re not just your loved one’s caregiver – you’re their voice at medical appointments and their coordinator of care. Addressing medical concerns with providers, handling paperwork and insurance claims, and researching healthcare options add an extra level of stress to your already busy life, but you do it so well!
- Your resiliency in the face of adversity. Even when your back hurts from lifting your partner out of bed or when your days are consumed with doctor appointments, your patience, compassion and perseverance inspire everyone around you. And when you do break down or become angry, know that those tears are a sign of strength, and not one of failure.
- Your sense of humor. Even on the darkest days, a laugh can provide a ray of light. To those who don’t understand the trials you face each day, they may be in shock when you joke about bedpans or medication, but for those of us who do, bonding over a shared experience through humor can reduce stress for everyone.
- Your stiff upper lip. In the past, you may have been frustrated by friends who gave unsolicited advice about your family. Now, when someone offers critiques or “helpful” suggestions, you just let that judgment roll off your back. You’re doing an incredible job, and only you, your loved one’s medical team and those close to you know exactly what your loved one needs.
- When you ask for help! According to AARP, only 15 percent of caregivers receive respite care. It’s critical to ask a relative to sit with your loved one or to look into an adult day care option so you can get an afternoon to yourself. If your loved one’s condition becomes more critical or you’re unable to provide the care they need at home, reach out to the team at AccuCare who can deliver high-quality home health care 24 hours a day.
At AccuCare, we appreciate how much you take on as a caregiver. That’s why we’re here for you when you need us, offering experienced professionals and custom care plans to help your loved one stay at home for as long as possible. To learn more, contact us today.