watering cans showering hearts down on a sad figure

Thankful for Caregivers

Did you know that November is National Family Caregiver Awareness Month? Are you fortunate enough to have a family member or friend who helps with transportation to your blood cancer appointments or errands? Maybe you have a paid caregiver. You are blessed. Have you thanked them? Here's a fun way to say thank you!

Ways to thank your caregiver

Below are some everyday items you probably already have or could purchase easily. Place any of these things in a thank-you card with its matching message appropriate to your situation.

  1. Penney--"A penny for your thoughts!" Thank you for listening to mine.
  2. Bandaid--Thank you for helping me heal, physically and emotionally.
  3. Tissue--You have been sweet to dry my tears.
  4. Cotton ball--I can feel your kindness, and I thank you.
  5. Paper clip--Thank you for helping me hold it together.
  6. Rubber band--I know you have stretched yourself to help me at times.
  7. Lifesaver Candy--You have been a lifesaver!
  8. Hershey Chocolate Kiss--Here's a kiss for your kindness.

Caregiver Burnout

Some caregivers are so busy caring for others that they neglect their emotional and physical health.

Every family has drama. Let that soak in. Sometimes caregivers may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities expected. They might be thinking, Wish sister would fly in to help for a few days, but no! She is off on another cruise. Exhaustion, frustration, and resentment make for a lethal combination.

Many caregivers will not recognize when they are suffering burnout. As a result, they may become sick themselves.

Some ideas to prevent caregiver burnout

  • family member may have too many irons in the fire. For example, if your daughter has children to pick up from school, maybe someone else could drive you to your appointment. I am looking forward to driverless cars in the future for this reason!
  • Think about what people are doing for you. Are they taking time off from work or losing contact with friends? If your son is mowing your yard plus his own while working full time, would it be a good idea to hire someone to mow your yard so he could get some rest?
  • Take advantage of respite care services. Respite care provides a temporary break for caregivers. This might range from a few hours of in-home care to a short stay in assisted living.
  • Your caregiver might have some negative feelings, such as frustration and anger. Don't take it personally. These feelings are directed at the situation and not you personally. Remember to thank them when they do anything for you routinely. A simple "Thanks, hon!" can make all the difference.
  • Encourage your family member to join a caregiver support group. Sharing their feelings and experiences with others in the same situation can help them manage stress, locate helpful resources, and reduce feelings of isolation and frustration.

Blood cancer is frightening, frustrating, and exhausting. Think about how your life would be without support. Most likely, it would be lonely. But you can't put a limit on gratitude. So remember to say, "Thank you!"

"Give thanks in all circumstances." I Thessalonians 5:18

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