March 19-25, 2017
The Honorable Jim Reiter, Minister of Health for the Province of Saskatchewan, has proclaimed March 19-25 as Caregivers Week
Saskatchewan Caregivers Week is a time to celebrate and honour the amazing volunteers in our province who are providing care for family members or friends who are in need of assistance in their daily lives. The dollar value of the time these volunteer caregivers provide is impossible to calculate. However, the even greater benefit is to those receiving care who are able to maintain the independence and quality of life they want because there are people who are prepared to help them.
Many of the caregivers and those being cared for are older adults. However, sometimes the person needing care is an adult child, and caregivers can be adults of any age, some of whom are part of the ‘sandwich generation’ raising children and caring for parents, and some of whom are still in paid employment. It is estimated that some 8 million Canadians are providing unpaid care, primarily to family members. These unpaid caregivers, most often family members, are the ones we want to recognize and celebrate.
Caregivers aren’t doing what they do to receive recognition, but it would be wonderful to let them know they are appreciated. Here are some ideas you or your community might consider.
For all of the following activities that involve having the caregiver go out to an activity, keep in mind that you should also consider how respite care can be provided for the person(s) the caregiver regularly cares for.
- Hold a community lunch or tea for caregivers
- Plan a public information session on the important role of caregivers in the community
Things you can do to recognize the efforts of individual caregivers:
- Take a caregiver out for lunch, coffee, a movie, etc.
- Offer to cook or provide a meal for the caregiver and the person they care for
- Offer to do the housework or shopping for the caregiver
- Send flowers and/or a “Thinking of You” card
- Drop off some cookies or other baking
- Phone them and have a chat
- Drop in for a visit – call ahead to check when/if this can happen
- Give a gift certificate for a spa or other activity the person may enjoy
- Offer to provide respite care for a few hours so the caregiver can have some time to do whatever they wish
(These are things that can be done by individuals, or organized by the community)
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