November is National Family Caregivers Month and this year the Caregiver Action Network is urging caregivers across the nation to take care of themselves first. While caregiving can be a rewarding experience, it can also be physically and emotionally draining. In fact, the stress of being responsible for another person can lead to higher health risks in the more than 90 million caregivers across the nation, according to the Caregiver Action Network. So it really is vital that you pay attention to your own needs and get proper rest and nutrition. By taking care of yourself first, you’re ensuring that you are as strong and capable as you can be to care for your loved one.
How to “Take Care to Give Care”- the Maryland CARE Act
For the more than 770,000 Maryland residents who provide in-home care to an ailing loved one, finding time in the day to take care of them can certainly be a challenge (source). But thanks to the Maryland CARE Act, which passed on October 1 of this year, that has gotten a little easier.
The Maryland CARE Act, a joint effort on the part of Maryland AARP and the state government, requires hospitals to:
- Provide your loved one the opportunity to designate a family caregiver
- Inform you when your loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home
- Give you live or video instructions of the medical or nursing tasks your will need to perform at home.
To learn more about the Maryland CARE Act, visit the Maryland AARP website.
Resources for Caregivers in Maryland
- Maryland Healthcare Commission The Maryland Healthcare Commission (MHC) has compiled a list of Long Term Care resources for caregivers in the state of Maryland. Information provided covers the Respite Care Program as well as The National Family Caregiver Support Program.
- 10 Tips for Family Caregivers The Caregiver Action Network offers 10 helpful tips on how to be a better caregiver
- Family Caregiver Toolbox Another great resource from the Caregiver Action Network, linking caregivers up with valuable resources across the web.