November is Caregiver Awareness Month. It is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers.
Caregivers play a significant role in most patients’ cancer care. The primary caregiver will often be present at every appointment and be by the patient’s side while recovering from surgery or treatment. Caregivers are organizers, cleaners, cooks, chauffeurs, nurses, and therapists. Caregivers do it all! Whether you are a patient or concerned loved one, show the caregivers in your life that you appreciate all that they do.
Say thank you.
A simple, verbal thank you can go a long way. If you are a patient in the thick of treatment, the ways you can show your appreciation for your caregiver may be limited, but never underestimate the power of saying thank you.
Remind caregivers to care for themselves too.
Sometimes caregivers overwork themselves mentally and emotionally because caring for their loved ones is the top priority. Some caregivers may even feel guilty if they take time for themselves. If you are not the patient, volunteer to take over for the primary caregiver for a day. Bring over a meal, so the caregiver doesn’t have to cook. Offer to do some chores around the house or run a few errands.
Send a simple gift.
Order flowers or fresh fruit for a caregiver who could use a boost. You could also make a homemade card or bake cookies. Give a gift card for a relaxing massage. A thoughtful gift can show your appreciation and brighten the caregiver’s day.