This November, we celebrate family caregivers through National Family Caregivers Month, an observance that originated through the Family Caregivers Association’s (now the Caregiver Action Network’s) week-long celebration of caregivers on Thanksgiving week in 1994. President Bill Clinton signed the first presidential proclamation of National Family Caregivers Week in 1997, and every president since has made similar proclamations. Over time, the week eventually extended to a full month of celebration.
The increased appreciation for family caregivers through the month-long, versus week-long, observance is easy to understand when considering the dramatic demographic shift our nation has begun to face as the Baby Boomer population moves into retirement and the need for caregivers drastically increases. With the increased need, has come widespread appreciation. Organizations, communities, and people around the nation are thanking, supporting, and celebrating family caregivers this month in a variety of ways.
We’ve picked out some of our favorite ways to show appreciation for family caregivers and included them below.
- Help the ThanksProject.org meet their goal of thanking the more than 42 million caregivers in the US. Visit the website and send your thanks, then pass it on!
- Send your appreciation with an ecard. Pick from a number of free, National Family Caregivers Month themed ecards on greeting-cards.com.
- Ask how you can help. A day in the life of a family caregiver can be stressful—to say the least—letting them know you’re there and ready to help can make all the difference. Before you ask, consider the ways you can contribute, like shopping for groceries, locating resources, or taking over for a few hours to give the caregiver a break.
To learn more about National Family Caregivers Month, click here.