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ARE YOU A CAREGIVER? Like many Americans, you may be caring for a child with a disability, parent, spouse, sibling, or friend. Here are a few questions to identify if you are a caregiver. Do you: o Help someone with hygiene, such as showering, toileting or grooming? o Assist someone with medications and management of that medication? o Provide financial help, such as paying bills? o Shop, cook, housekeep and/or feed someone? o Arrange and coordinate outside help for someone? o Provide transportation?

If you said, "yes," to one of these questions, you are a caregiver. There are many different definitions of a caregiver, but one common theme is: being a caregiver demands your time, resources, love and energy.

YOU ARENOTALONE You are part of a very diverse group. There are many people within your own neighborhood that are also caregivers, from a parent caring for a child with disabilities to a grandparent providing care to grandchildren, to people assisting a loved one who is aging or has a debilitating disease that requires care. Caregivers can live with their relative or can provide care long distance.

MANYEMOTIONS Caregivers experience mixed emotions. Love for your family member and the satisfaction you derive from helping may coexist with feelings of resentment about the loss of your privacy and frustration at believing you have no control over what happens. You may find it hard to accept the decline of the special person for whom you are giving care.

Acknowledge your feelings. Your feelings have a lot to do with the way you view and cope with care giving. All feelings are legitimate, even those that may seem disturbing to you (including anger, frustration, and sadness). Recognizing and accepting your emotions are the first step toward resolving problems of guilt and stress. Learn to express your feelings to family members, friends, or professionals.

Celebrating the Support of Loved Ones

National Family

Caregivers Month November

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