Family caregivers take center stage during November, when Americans across the country celebrate National Family Caregivers Month.

The annual commemoration allows us to thank and honor the nation’s 90 million family caregivers (according to Caregiver Action Network or “CAN”), celebrate their efforts, and raise awareness of caregiver issues.

The 2017 theme, “Caregiving Around the Clock,” reminds us that caregiving can be 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week job.

According to CAN, which spearheads the celebration:

“… Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s or a child with special needs can be non-stop. Providing care around the clock can crowd out other important areas of life. And you never know when you will need to rush to the hospital or leave work at the drop of a hat…”

Through the REST program, caregivers receive the gift of time, so they can focus on their own physical and mental needs. They can step away with peace of mind, knowing their loved ones are in good hands with REST Companions, and return to their caregiving role refreshed and recharged.

New research shows how caregivers risk their personal health and well-being to care for a loved one.  The simple act of taking a break – even for a small period of time – can make a big difference in a caregiver’s life.  Respite can help decrease stress, prevent burnout, and provide relief.

As we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month, we invite REST Trainers to take the REST Training Challenge. The Trainer who trains the most Companions will win an iPad, and the State that trains the most will receive 25 Participant Guides. Learn more about our contest here.

For those who are not REST Trainers, we invite you to consider taking the two-day Train-the-Trainer course, which would allow you to conduct REST Companion courses in your community. Check out our training schedule here.

Learn more about the REST program:  www.restprogram.org.