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7 Ways to Support Caregivers During National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month. This month serves to appreciate the role of family caregivers, address the issues they face, and further educate them on how to render their caregiving services. The place of family caregivers is critical given they have tremendous love for the family member who needs their ongoing support. In addition, research from the Administration for Community Living indicates caregiving also takes a significant emotional, physical, and financial toll. With nearly half of all caregivers over age 50, many are vulnerable to a decline in their health. It’s essential to understand how you can support family caregivers in November and throughout the year. Here are just a few of the ways that you can show support to a caregiver include:

  1. Learn more about the specific illness:
    Staying informed about the basic information of the illness that they are caring for will make you invaluable in supporting a caregiver. Knowledge of the symptoms, the disease progression, and the challenges facing caregivers are some of the most important ways you can identify with them and show your support. Moreover, this shows your commitment and makes the caregiver have trust in you.
  1. Make an effort to spend time with the caregivers:
    Many caregivers report feeling alone. According to, between 40 and 70% of family caregivers experience clinical symptoms of depression, which can be caused by isolation and loneliness associated with the caregiving experience. Your physical presence in the household or giving them a phone call will go a long way in keeping them connected with the rest of the world. Spending time with them also helps them unwind or vent out their frustration in caregiving. You may consider taking them for coffee or to an activity they enjoy.
  1. Help them with chores:
    Depending on the degree of care required, family caregivers may need to put in long hours of looking out for their loved ones, leaving them too exhausted to do the household chores. Offering to get groceries or clean the house will give them a breather that helps recharge their energy for when their help is next needed. It’s the little things that can go a long way.
  1. Fill in for them in caregiving services:
    You can show your support to the family caregivers by providing services to their relatives living with illness. The caregiving roles you can fill include administering medicines, exercising, feeding the person, and standing in for a doctor’s appointment. Filling in for these services will always be dependent on how comfortable they may be to relinquish some of these duties, but it’s always helpful to ask and let them know you are there if they need you.
  1. Organize a team around the caregivers:
    You may also consider forming a network of your family or friends to help step in with caregiving services. The team will offer more time for the family caregiver to live an everyday life by interacting with many people, making them feel less isolated. Some tips from AARP include holding regular family meetings, calling on friends and family for assistance, and using Zoom and other types of technology to stay connected as a supportive team.
  1. Advise the caregivers to join a support group:
    You can find online or physical channels where the caregiver can meet other family caregivers, share their similar experiences, and encourage and comfort each other. Support groups show the caregivers that they are not isolated. Albeit their challenges may be unique, others in a similar situation are happy to connect and support others going through this type of experience.
  1. Support and participate in the forums and through associations:
    Your support to the caregivers need not be limited to one in your vicinity. You can help the groups responsible for the welfare of the caregivers through donations, advocating for more research funds for genetic and rare diseases, and even signing up for clinical study participation for these diseases. Consider doing a walk or other type of donation event for an organization centered around the condition they are caring for to raise funds in their name.

Support to family caregivers is essential to their well-being and the well-being of the patient. Several caregivers have taken the role of caregiver in addition to their full-time job to eliminate the added healthcare expense of hiring a caregiver from a home health agency. From offering your time to mobilizing others, there is a myriad of ways where you can show your support to caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month and any other time during the year. At Orsini Specialty Pharmacy, we work with many caregivers who speak on behalf of patients with rare and complex conditions. We are here to provide education and support to caregivers throughout the patient journey. You can read some of our patient journey stories to see how vital the role of family caregivers is to patients living with rare diseases.