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November is National Family Caregivers Month

Caregiving often creeps up on you. Mom’s friends called to say she got lost on her way to meet them for lunch. Dad had a fall and needed help after hip surgery. You start by doing mom’s laundry or taking dad to a doctor’s appointment. You find yourself doing the grocery shopping and refilling prescriptions. Gradually, you are doing more and more. At some point, you realize you have made a commitment to take care of someone else.*

However your caregiver journey began, you are not alone! There are 90 million family caregivers across the country. Nearly one-third of the U.S. adult population are caregivers, providing an average of 20 hours of care per week – with some providing care around the clock.

Caregivers can be spouses, partners, adult children, parents, other relatives (siblings, aunts, nieces/nephews, in-laws, grandchildren), friends, or neighbors. You may be employed full- or part-time. You may be raising children, or be a volunteer, a spouse, and have other family commitments.

You might need to navigate social service systems, call doctors while you’re at work, advocate for the care receiver, and take care of their day-to-day needs, while you try to do all those same things for yourself and your family.

Being a caregiver can easily lead to frustration and exhaustion. You will be more successful as a long-term caregiver if you learn to take care of yourself first. Here are ways JFS Silicon Valley can help support you:

Whether you are in the first stages of caregiving or have been a long-time caregiver, JFS Silicon Valley’s care managers specialize in helping older adults and caregivers identify areas of concern and work to create a care plan to bring everyone peace of mind. We tailor a plan to meet each person’s individual needs:

  • Providing a comprehensive assessment of care needs

  • Making long-term and short-term care plans

  • Addressing emotional concerns and worries

  • Coordinating health and other support services

  • Providing guidance with transitions of care

  • Guiding families through complex issues

  • Relieving caregiver stress

Caregiving is often a 24/7 job, and everyone needs a break sometimes. JFS Silicon Valley’s Friendly Visitor program matches older adults with caring volunteers who offer companionship and a steady connection to the community through weekly in-home or phone visits. These visits allow you to take a break, even if it’s just to take a walk, run an errand for yourself or read a book.

Sometimes life delivers more challenges than we can handle. We provide caregivers with the support and resources you need to help you cope with the stress and unique challenges associated with being a caregiver.

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