National Caregivers Day is celebrated annually on the third Friday in February, healthcare professionals and loved ones are observed nationwide on this special day designated for caregivers.
Caregivers provide necessary assistance to those in need for everything from medical aid to personal care, and we hope you will join Alzheimer's Tennessee in recognizing their vital contributions.
To our caregivers, Alzheimer's Tennessee deeply appreciates the dedication of each and every one you. Thank you.
Did You Know?
- Today, nearly 1 in 5 Americans (19.2 percent) are caregivers, having provided care to an adult at some time in the past 12 months.
- 1 in 3 caregivers of someone age 65 or older reports the presence of Alzheimer's or dementia
- When a caregiver provides care to someone with a memory problem, they are more likely to help with getting in and out of beds and chairs, getting dressed, getting to and from the toilet, bathing or showering, feeding, dealing with incontinence, tasks more frequently rated "difficult" when caring for someone with memory loss.
(Source: Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 - AARP Research Report)
- On average, caregivers spend 13 days a month on laundry, house cleaning, transportation, giving medication, and shopping for and preparing food.
- 6 days a month feeding, dressing, grooming, walking, and bathing
- 13 hours a month researching disease and care services, coordinating physician visits, and managing financial matters.
(Source: The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index)
8 Ways to Let Caregivers Know You Care about Them:
We may find it easy to celebrate those we love on Valentine's Day: Romantic dinners, cards, flowers, and chocolate. The question is, what will we do to show our gratitude and appreciation to those who are Caregivers in our lives?
National Caregivers Day is a celebration that recognizes caregivers providing quality, compassionate care every day. The ideas are endless for expressing appreciation on this special day designated for caregivers. (Note: These ideas work everyday of the year!)
- Offer a Verbal "Thank You"
You may think caregivers know how much they are appreciated. However, taking time to verbally express your appreciation can mean so much. Make a point to say "thank you" - in person or pick up the phone and call the caregiver directly. It may seem simple, but kind words of appreciation might be just what your caregiver needs to hear - especially given what our country and world have been through the past year.
- Arrange for a Break
Providing care is an exhausting job, and unfortunately, caregiver burnout is common. Whether you're caring for a loved one or overseeing a caregiver, prioritize time-off. Consider respite services to handle your loved ones needs while you take a break. Let a caregiver know that you would be happy to stay at their home so they may leave the house. Or they may appreciate a gift card for a special treat - even coffee. Encourage that wonderful Caregiver to take breaks, meditate or spend a few minutes in prayer.
- Provide a Meal
If you know a caregiver that you want to celebrate, consider providing them with a delicious meal. Between their many caretaking duties, finding the time and energy to cook for themselves can be hard. Take a home cooked meal to a caregiver or provide a meal deliver option. Preparing freezer-friendly dinners will also keep meals on hand for especially busy days.
- Encourage Self-Care
Ironically, caregivers are great at providing care, but they don't always prioritize their own health and personal needs. Self-care looks different for everyone, but the goal is to reduce stress. Unfortunately, chronic stress can be uncomfortable and draining, but it can also cause life-threatening conditions. Allow caregivers "me-time" to relax outside of their caregiving role. Encourage them to find an activity they love like exercising, reading or a new hobby.
- Be a Good Listener
Caregivers often feel isolated with their day-to-day duties. As a friend to a caregiver, you can help by offering a listening ear. The struggles caregivers face are unique to their situations. Simply sharing their experiences with someone who is willing to listen can help them sort through their feelings. Check in with a caregiver you know to see how they're doing.
- Put it in Writing
Caretaking can be a rewarding job, but some days are harder than others. Consider writing a thoughtful note to the caregiver in your life for those difficult days. Share your words of gratitude and encouragement to help them feel appreciated. If applicable, consider writing to the caregiver's supervisor to further show your appreciation. Lastly, express your gratitude publicly with a #NationalCaregiversDay post about your beloved caregiver on social media.
- Share about Alzheimer's Tennessee Resources
Alzheimer's Tennessee offers an abundance of resources throughout the state to help caregivers through their journeys with memory loss. Please let them know about these programs and so many more:
- Virtual Support Groups
- Caregiver Education Sessions with Experts
- Online Caregiver Academy with short videos from experts
- 24/7 HelpLine 1-800-259-4283
- Walk to Make Alzheimer's a Memory
Show your support by signing up to Walk to Make Alzheimer's a Memory with Alzheimer's Tennessee this year. Donate in honor of a caregiver or dedicate your steps to the special caregiver in your life.
(*Portions of above content adopted from writings by Snehal Tanwar)