Throughout November, organizations across the nation will show their support for caregivers by holding appreciation luncheons, workshops and special events – some of which include speakers, Zumba classes, Bingo and more.

The activities will take place to commemorate National Family Caregivers Month – a time to thank and support the nation’s 90 million family caregivers, celebrate their efforts, and raise awareness of caregiver issues.

This year’s theme – Take Care to Give Care – emphasizes the first rule of taking care of others:  taking care of yourself first.

According to Caregiver Action Network, which spearheads the celebration:

“Caregiving can be a rewarding experience, but it is also physically and emotionally demanding…So as a family caregiver, remember to pay attention to your own physical and mental wellness, and get proper rest and nutrition.  Only by taking care of yourself can you be strong enough to take care of your loved one.”

Through REST, we are helping caregivers “Take Care to Give Care” by training REST Companions® to provide quality respite care. Our curriculum includes how to build relationships with caregivers and care receivers, practice good health and safety methods, create a positive environment, and plan and adapt activities.

The trained Companions then allow caregivers to step away from their caregiving duties to focus on their own physical and mental needs – they can exercise, keep a doctor’s appointment, attend a support group meeting, or simply enjoy some free time. And they can do all of this with peace of mind, knowing their loved ones are in good hands with REST Companions who have been well trained.

As we prepare to celebrate National Family Caregivers Month, consider hosting a REST training course in your community. Doing so will expand and strengthen our growing network of respite-care providers. After you schedule your class, we welcome you to publicize it on our website.  To learn more about the REST program:   www.restprogram.org.