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Supporting Family Caregivers

Posted Nov 03 2010 1:05pm
You probably have heard by now that this month (November) is National Family Caregiver Month. You also are very likely keenly aware of the work that family members do in providing care to the individuals who are now – or will one day become – your clients.

It’s a good month to think about what you do, as an organization, to reach out to family caregivers.

Some of you are going to great lengths to communicate your commitment to helping family caregivers. Synergy Homecare, one of our corporate clients, has launched a program called Arms Around Family Caregivers . It’s a great, heartfelt program designed to support family caregivers. At the end of the month, Synergy plans to announce a “Pillar of Strength” Award to a family caregiver, along with 40 hours of respite care at no cost to the winner.

Is your organization doing something unique and innovative this month? Share it, if you are. We’ll put it on our Facebook page and pass the word along about your important work.

If you not, give it some thought. It doesn’t need to be much. Just a little bit of extra effort can mean a lot to family members. Here are a couple of ideas to get your own creative processes going
  1. Hold a “Family Appreciation” dinner, reception or lunch. Minimal planning and expense can give you an opportunity to build relationships with your client and prospective client families.
  2. Write a story about the families you serve. Send it to your local paper; post it on your website or blog. Send it to me- I’ll post it and add it to our facebook page.
  3. Offer a support and training group. Use our family caregiver courses and give families an opportunity to discuss what they’ve learned and what they need to better understand about their loved ones needs, or their own needs as caregivers.
  4. Consider contributing a service or some goods to support a family caregiver. Would you be willing to give away an hour or two of your services to family caregivers? Do you have a product that you could offer free of charge? Let me know – we’ll post it on our up-coming national family caregiver website, giving you exposure and recognition for your willingness to support family caregivers.
Family caregivers, whether doing hands’ on care or supporting others in caring, are often exhausted, over-stressed and battling a wide range of emotions. If each of us takes just one small action to support their vital work, we can make a whole world of difference.
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