Family Caregiver Month

Page 1

HCS Highlights FALL 2020




Every November, Washington State honors the more than 850,000 family caregivers who are the backbone of our long-term services and supports. These individuals provide an estimated 770 million hours and nearly $11 billion in unpaid essential assistance to loved ones, friends and neighbors with chronic illness, disabilities and other special needs every year. If you want more information on Washington’s supports for unpaid caregivers, visit the Washington Community Living Connections website or call 1-855-567-0252.


CAREGIVING DURING COVID-19 Caring for a loved one who is ill, aging or disabled is a challenge under any circumstances, but for the millions of Americans who provide unpaid care to friends or relatives, the COVID-19 pandemic has strained them even further. If you are caring for a loved one, or know someone who is, there are a few steps you can take to improve both your own wellness and the safety and wellbeing of your loved one.


First, and most importantly, take care of yourself.


Take precautions to keep yourself and your loved one safe.

Self-care is not selfish – it’s essential. You’re under extra stress right now, not only from the barrage of scary headlines and the changes to routine, but from other burdens. You might have kids at home with you or be adjusting to a new work environment. You might be frustrated that you can’t engage in the activities you enjoyed before the pandemic began. Whatever the stressor, taking care of yourself first will help you provide better care to your loved one.

Follow all the standard COVID-19 precautions: wear a facemask, wash your hands often and keep at least six feet apart whenever feasible. If you’re caring for your loved one in person, limit your contact with others so you’re reducing your chance for contracting the disease and passing it on to your love one.


Keeping your distance? Take advantage of technology.


Take time for to connect with your loved one.

If possible, limit your in-person visits with your loved one. Consider how you can assist your loved one from afar. Technology can be a huge help right now, and not just for keeping touch by video call. You can also use apps and websites to order home delivery of groceries, food and even medication. If your loved one has a smartphone or tablet, you can also download apps to provide medication reminders, monitor blood pressure and track other health-related data points.

You and your loved one are both struggling with the changes you’re experiencing. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the pressures of day-to-day life, but remember to take time to connect with your loved one and remember why you’re providing care in the first place – because of the special bond you share. Use the time to discuss your favorite memories or work on a project together. Now is a great opportunity to make a family photo album or learn how to make a family recipe.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.