Thank a Caregiver
November is National Family Caregivers Month. It is also, coincidentally, the month when families and friends gather together and give thanks for whatever it is they feel thankful for. When you combine these observations in the same month, November becomes a great time to thank those special people who may not be recognized for the work they do on behalf of others: caregivers, who are all too often unpaid and unsung. Forty million of them. Many of whom are challenged by trying to balance the needs of their parents and their kids.
The month we observe Thanksgiving is an excellent time to give some attention to the folks you know who are caregivers: it could be a family member, or a circle of friends, or an organized group–individuals who may also be managing their own families, plus a job, and other day-to-day responsibilities. I’m thinking of a couple of friends who recently retired, and were looking forward to some well-earned leisure time to refocus, travel, and relax a bit. Instead, they have been taking turns spending many hours with two very close friends who are facing daunting medical issues. The role of caregiver wasn’t what they had in mind for their first few months of retirement, but they are committed to doing everything they can for their friends.
Random Acts of Kindness
The Ad Council and AARP are asking for support in helping to raise awareness of a new program. The program encourages us to perform unexpected “Random Acts of Kindness” for the caregivers we know. It’s a way to offer thanks, awhile alleviating some of their stress. (The amount of stress is significant: According to AARP, “Almost three in ten people who are caring for someone say their life has changed with caregiving, oftentimes for the negative. More than one in five say their weight, their exercise, or their social life has/have suffered. . . ” It’s not uncommon for caregivers to feel sad and depressed also.) And this is why AARP has created a community where caretakers can find the kinds of support and resources they need.
What the idea of random acts of kindness boils down to is this: identify someone who is helping others above and beyond the call of duty, and do something nice for them. Any small gesture will be appreciated by the caregiver, and you will get the benefit of letting them see that you support them–and that you value the time they spend doing what they do.
If this catches on as a nationwide movement, the Random Acts of Kindness for caregivers will raise awareness and appreciation for what caregivers do, and will have an immediate positive impact on those who are not always given the recognition and thanks they deserve.
Here’s how you can take part in Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers:
- Click here to learn more about Random Acts of Kindness for Caregivers
- Identify someone in your life or in your community who is serving as a caregiver and do something nice for them. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, just a small gesture that makes a caregiver’s life a little easier
- You can become a participant and share your story. Submit a 150 word or less story on how you made a caregiver feel special, along with a photo, to be entered to win a cash prize of up to $10,000. You may enter the contest once a week. See official rules for entry and prize details.
Think about the people you know who are taking care of a friend or a family member, and challenge yourself to surprise them with a random act of kindness. It’s a win-win opportunity.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Element Associates and Midlife Boulevard