Celebrate National Caregivers Day

Meredith TerHaar tells us about how important being a caregiver is and how to tell if your loved ones might need a caregiver.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It can be a challenging role that is sometimes under-appreciated, today is National Caregivers Day.

It happens every third Friday in February and serves as a reminder to thank those who care for someone who needs assistance.

A caregiver can be anyone helping those who need it...whether its an adult child caring for an aging parent, a parent caring for an adult child with special needs, or a professional caring for someone in an assisted living setting.

There is a shortage of professional caregivers in our country...and as our population ages that need is only expected to increase.

They are many different levels of care giving, from assisting someone with trips to the grocery store to administering medicines and helping with hygiene.

So how do you know when a loved one needs a caregivers assistance? Jessica Mays, the RN Clinical Manager from Porter Hills offers this advice, "If you care for someone that is starting to maybe not show the same level of hygiene they normally did or they seem to be forgetting to show up for social events that they normally would go to or they haven't been to the doctor in a while, you want to start that conversation. If you are not able to, finding someone who is able to start that conversation is very important." And that could be anyone from friends and family members to a doctor or social worker.

Jessica says stress is the biggest challenge caregivers face, it can be a physically demanding and mentally taxing role as you see someone you care for decline.

There are resources to help with every level of care giving, click here for resources offered by Porter Hills.

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