“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Theresa
This famous quote is appropriate for us at St. Vincent Hospital as we recognize National Family Caregivers Month, a time to appreciate, support, and empower family caregivers. If you’re caring for an adult with chronic physical or cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s or other illness, you’re not alone. Families provide 80 percent of long-term care in the US.
Many older or disabled adults live at home but need daily assistance with bathing, dressing, eating and taking medications. They may likely also need help with cooking, cleaning and laundry. As a friend or relative, you may find it difficult to provide all of that help on your own. If you are providing care on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis, you may find that you need help or need a break. A variety of services are available to assist you and your family member.
Many hospitals including St. Vincent offer help for caregivers and family members in the form of respite care beds, where a loved one will receive compassionate and professional short-term care while their family caregiver takes a break and recharges.
Hospital case managers are available to consult with you and connect you to resources. Case management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual’s and family’s comprehensive health needs.
Finally, the website caregiveraction.org has how-to videos, checklists and tips to educate and inspire caregivers.
At St. Vincent we recognize the commitment and the sacrifice of family caregivers, and we acknowledge and celebrate you in November and throughout the year.