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By Rachel Brauner

Every November, we honor and recognize the more than 90 million Americans caring for a loved one. National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers. Family caregivers, many unpaid, are the backbone of long-term care in the U.S., as they care for children, parents, or spouses.

Caregiving may include helping with one or more activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing, paying bills, shopping, and providing transportation. Additionally, they may also provide emotional support and assist in managing chronic disease or disability.

According to the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), the theme for this year’s NFCM is #CaregivingHappens, to acknowledge the reality that family caregiving isn’t always convenient or expected. Further, becoming a caregiver often forces individuals to take on the added responsibilities of an advocate, nurse, and/or protector, which in turn can impact their role as a spouse, partner, friend, or parent.

Tips for Providers Working with Family Caregivers

  1. Help caregivers understand their feelings when their identities conflict with each other.
  2. Learn “who you are as a caregiver” and why the changing nature of caregiving causes stress, confusion, anger, and feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Learn how the caregivers and families you work with can manage these changes and reduce stress.

Join the OneOp Military Caregiving concentration on 30 November 2022 at 11:00 AM ET as we close out the month with a webinar on The Caregiver Conflict: Tips for Providers Working with Families. An individual’s identity as a parent, spouse, sibling, and more can often conflict with the expectations and rules of being a caregiver. As you work with caregivers, explore how they feel about this new identity.