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National Caregivers Day and the Path to Better Accessibility title graphic

Every third Friday in February, we celebrate National Caregivers Day, honoring caregivers’ unwavering dedication and compassion. This year, on February 16, 2024, we pause to recognize the vital role these selfless individuals play in the lives of those facing illness, disability, or aging and mobility challenges. Caregivers offer not only practical assistance with daily tasks but also emotional support, greatly impacting the well-being and quality of life of those they care for.

National Caregivers Day February 16 2024 graphic

Caregiving, often undertaken with little recognition, demands significant physical and emotional commitment. The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP report that approximately 53 million Americans serve as caregivers for family members or friends, forming the backbone of home-based care in the United States and enabling many to remain in familiar environments despite health challenges. 

graphic of caregiver and family member or friend

As National Caregivers Day approaches, it’s a fitting time to reflect on caregivers’ invaluable contributions and the importance of supporting them. 

The Growing Role of Caregivers in Society

Caregiver offering beverage to injured man

The demand for caregivers has seen a significant rise over the last ten years, fueled by demographic shifts such as an increasingly aging population and a rise in chronic health conditions. According to projections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the population of adults aged 65 and older is expected to nearly double, from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060. This dramatic increase highlights the growing need for caregivers, as well as for accessible home environments and assistive technologies that can simplify caregiving tasks.

text graphic: the population of adults aged 65 and older is expected to nearly double, from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060

The diversity within the caregiving landscape further emphasizes the importance of creating home settings that are accessible and equipped with the necessary assistive devices to aid in caregiving. It is crucial to recognize and meet the needs of caregivers, ensuring they have the support and resources needed to effectively fulfill their vital roles. 

Challenges Faced by Caregivers

graphic showing challenges including physical strain, emotional stress, and accessibility solutions

Taking care of individuals with mobility challenges, disabilities, or age-related issues presents a complex array of challenges for caregivers. It is vital to provide caregivers with supportive resources and solutions to these challenges, as they can significantly affect their well-being.

Physical Strain

A primary challenge for caregivers is the physical strain of caregiving tasks, such as lifting, transferring individuals, assisting with mobility, and managing household tasks. These activities can lead to injuries, including back pain, a common problem among caregivers.

A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that healthcare occupations, including caregiving, experience higher rates of musculoskeletal disorders than other professions. This type of data further illustrates the risks caregivers face and the critical need for ergonomic tools and accessible solutions to mitigate these challenges.

Emotional Stress

Caregiving’s emotional toll cannot be overlooked. The responsibility of caring for a loved one or client often leads to stress, anxiety, and depression, all symptoms of caregiver burnout. Balancing caregiving responsibilities with personal and professional lives compounds these emotional struggles.

The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP reveals that nearly 40% of caregivers report high emotional stress, underscoring the essential need for emotional support and resources to help caregivers manage stress and protect their mental health. Caregivers can greatly benefit from mental health resources such as counseling and support groups of like-minded individuals.

Need for Suitable Accessibility Solutions

Homes and facilities’ design and accessibility significantly impact caregiving challenges. A lack of accessibility features, such as ramps, grab bars in showers, walk-in tubs, and stair lifts, can add to the difficulty of caregiving tasks and increase the risk of injury for both caregivers and those they assist. Moreover, insufficient accessibility solutions may restrict the independence of individuals with mobility challenges, further burdening caregivers.

Addressing these challenges is crucial, and creating a safe, accessible environment is paramount. Solutions like wheelchair ramps, lift chair recliners, and home elevators significantly alleviate caregivers’ physical strain. They also enhance the safety and mobility of those in their care. These improvements not only elevate the quality of life for individuals with mobility challenges but also bolster the health and well-being of caregivers by simplifying caregiving tasks.

Key Accessibility Solutions to Help Caregivers

Supporting caregivers in their crucial roles requires more than just recognition on National Caregivers Day; it necessitates tangible solutions that address the physical and emotional challenges they face daily. Enhancing accessibility and mobility for individuals with disabilities or mobility issues plays a pivotal role in this support system.

By focusing on creating safer, more accessible environments, caregivers can provide better care with reduced risk to themselves and those they assist. This approach not only improves the quality of life for individuals with mobility challenges but also significantly eases the caregiving burden. Below are several of the most popular accessibility solutions that can assist caregivers in their role.

  • Ramps and Wheelchair Ramps: Various types of ramps, including portable, modular, and threshold ramps, are essential for safe access to homes and buildings. These tools enable caregivers to transport individuals in wheelchairs or mobility scooters easily, minimizing injury and physical strain risk.
  • Lifts, Stair Lifts, and Home Elevators: For homes or facilities with multiple levels, stair lifts and home elevators are invaluable. They ensure that individuals can safely access different floors without the physical exertion and risk associated with navigating stairs, making the caregiver’s job safer and less physically demanding.
  • Mobility Scooters and Wheelchair Rentals: Flexibility in mobility solutions is crucial for managing various mobility issues. Utilizing mobility scooters and wheelchair rentals provides short-term mobility solutions, allowing caregivers to address immediate needs or evaluate long-term mobility aid options.
  • Walk-In Tubs: Addressing the high risk of falls and injuries in bathrooms, walk-in tubs allow individuals to maintain hygiene independently in a safe environment. This significantly reduces the caregiving burden and enhances the dignity of those in care.
  • Lift Chairs and Lift Chair Recliners: These chairs help individuals move from seated to standing positions (and vice versa) effortlessly. For caregivers, such tools can significantly reduce the effort required to assist with standing or sitting, decreasing the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Grab Bars for Showers: Installing grab bars in showers and bathrooms provides crucial support for individuals, enabling safer navigation in these high-risk areas. For caregivers, these installations offer added assurance that slips and falls risk is minimized.

The Impact of Accessibility Solutions on Caregiving

By prioritizing accessibility improvements in living spaces, caregivers are equipped with the tools needed to offer safer, more effective care. This focus on accessibility ensures that the needs of both caregivers and those they support are met, leading to a higher quality of life and reduced strain for caregivers.

One example comes from our Next Day Access Boston location, where the team installed a chairlift for safely and efficiently helping elderly parents move from the first floor of their caregiver’s house down through the basement to ground level. The home, located at the end of an inclined driveway, did not offer a feasible option for installing a ramp to the front door, making a chairlift the optimal choice. The installation of this accessibility solution reduced the physical burden for the child but also restored independence for the parents. This story is echoed in countless testimonials, which highlights the profound impact accessibility solutions can have on improving the quality of life for individuals with mobility issues and their caregivers.

Physical Benefits

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The physical benefits of accessibility solutions for caregivers are undeniable. By reducing the need for manual lifting and mobility assistance, these tools help prevent caregiver injuries, a common issue noted in the caregiving community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that injuries among healthcare workers, including caregivers, are significantly higher than those in other industries, emphasizing the need for ergonomic aids and accessibility tools to mitigate these risks.

Emotional Benefits

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Beyond physical advantages, accessibility solutions offer substantial emotional benefits. They foster a more positive caregiving environment by alleviating some of the stress and anxiety associated with caregiving tasks. When individuals with mobility challenges gain the ability to move more freely and independently within their environments, it not only boosts their morale but also provides emotional relief for caregivers. The sense of autonomy and dignity these solutions provide to individuals can significantly improve their mental health and overall well-being, ultimately leading to a harmonious and positive caregiving relationship.

Improving Quality of Life

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By addressing the physical and emotional challenges of caregiving, accessibility solutions ensure that caregivers can provide the highest possible care without compromising their own health and well-being. The importance of creating inclusive and safe environments is clear, not just for the physical benefits they provide, but for the peace of mind and independence they afford individuals with mobility challenges.

Planning for Accessibility: A Guide for Caregivers

Planning for accessibility is a critical step for caregivers looking to create a safe and supportive environment for those with mobility challenges. Whether you’re caring for a loved one at home or managing care in a facility, assessing the need for and implementing the right accessibility solutions can significantly improve the quality of life for those you assist. Here are some tips and insights on how to plan for an accessible environment.

Assessing the Need for Accessibility Solutions

  • Conduct a Walk-Through Assessment: Start by conducting a thorough walk-through of the home or facility. Look for potential obstacles and areas that might present mobility challenges, such as stairs, narrow doorways, or high thresholds.
  • Identify Key Areas for Improvement: Focus on key areas critical to daily activities, including bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and entryways. These areas often require immediate attention to improve accessibility and safety.
  • Consider the Individual’s Specific Needs: Tailor your accessibility plan to the individual’s specific mobility challenges and needs. The type of mobility aid they use (e.g., wheelchair, walker, or mobility scooter) will influence the solutions you choose.
  • Prioritize Safety and Independence: Prioritize solutions that ensure safety and promote independence for the individual. Features like grab bars for showers, walk-in tubs, and stair lifts can make a significant difference in their ability to navigate their environment safely.
  • Consult with Professionals: Engage with healthcare professionals, occupational therapists, or accessibility experts to get a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s needs and the most effective solutions.

Planning for accessibility is an essential step in creating a supportive environment for those with mobility challenges. By conducting a thorough assessment and prioritizing safety and independence, caregivers can make informed decisions about modifications. 

Next Day Access can help, contact our team to learn more.

The Future of Caregiving and Accessibility

Caregiving and accessibility are rapidly evolving. This is driven by advancements in technology and a growing recognition of the need for inclusive, adaptable living environments. As we look to the future, several key trends are shaping the way care is provided. These trends are making it more efficient, responsive, and attuned to the individual needs of mobility challenges.

  • Increasing Use of Technology and Smart Home Solutions: Technology integration into caregiving practices is becoming increasingly prevalent. Smart home technologies, such as voice-activated systems, automated lighting, and security features, are being used to create environments that are safer but also more empowering for individuals with disabilities or mobility issues. According to an AARP report, 77% of adults 50 and older want to stay in their homes for the long term. This is a desire that smart home technologies can support by enhancing home accessibility and safety.
  • Telehealth and Remote Monitoring: The adoption of telehealth services and remote monitoring technologies is on the rise, offering caregivers and healthcare providers more convenient ways to stay connected with and monitor the well-being of those they care for. This trend is particularly beneficial in reducing in-person medical visits and making healthcare more accessible to those with mobility challenges.
  • Wearable Health Devices: Wearable technologies that monitor health metrics are becoming essential tools for caregivers. These devices can track vital signs, detect falls, and even predict potential health issues. This allows for timely interventions and better health management.
trends in caregiving graphic showing smart home technology, telehealth and remote monitoring, and wearable health devices

National Caregiver’s Day: Recognizing and Supporting Caregivers

National Caregiver’s Day serves as a heartfelt reminder of caregivers’ invaluable contributions to our society. It’s a day dedicated to appreciating the compassion, dedication, and hard work of those who provide care to individuals with disabilities, mobility challenges, or age-related issues. Here are ways individuals and communities can thank caregivers:

Next Day Access Caregiver Gift Ideas
  • Express Gratitude: A simple “thank you” can go a long way. Personalized notes, cards, or messages can make caregivers feel valued and appreciated.
  • Offer Practical Help: Providing respite care, delivering meals, or assisting with errands can help caregivers.
  • Public Recognition: Communities can organize events or awards to publicly acknowledge and celebrate local caregivers’ contributions.
  • Educational Resources: Providing access to information and training can empower caregivers with the knowledge and skills they need to provide the highest quality care.

National Caregivers Day shines a light on the selflessness and dedication of caregivers, underscoring the significant impact of their work on our society. It’s a moment to acknowledge their contributions and explore supportive measures that can ease their responsibilities.

How Next Day Access Supports Caregivers

Next Day Access excels in delivering tailored accessibility solutions for individuals with mobility challenges, significantly aiding caregivers in their roles. Here’s a short checklist of how our team will support your customized accessibility plan creation.

  • Free Home Assessment: Next Day Access offers free home assessments to evaluate the specific needs of the individual and the home’s layout. This assessment helps identify the most effective accessibility solutions.
  • Customized Solution Planning: Based on the assessment, Next Day Access can develop a customized plan that addresses the identified needs. This could be installing ramps for easy entry and exit, deciding what type of stair lift is best suited for the home, or bathroom modifications to ensure safety and independence.
  • Professional Installation: With a team of experienced professionals, Next Day Access ensures that all installations are completed efficiently and safely, adhering to the highest standards of quality and compliance.
  • Ongoing Support: Beyond installation, Next Day Access provides ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that the accessibility solutions continue to meet the needs of the individual and caregiver effectively.

Contact Next Day Access and let’s work together to create accessible spaces that support caregivers and those they care for, making every day safer and more manageable.

Title Graphic for blog "National Family Caregivers Month: Honoring the Heroes of Mobility and Assistance"

In November, the United States celebrates National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM), a time to honor and recognize these individuals.

Graphic states November is National Caregivers Month with image of a heart over a calendar showing November

This month is dedicated to recognizing and acknowledging the compassionate care provided by millions of family members to their loved ones. It brings to the forefront the mobility challenges many face on a daily basis. In this annual celebration, healthcare providers, communities, and businesses can raise awareness, offer support, and advocate for those who give so much of themselves to ensure the health and wellbeing of their family members.

In healthcare and family support, caregivers are unsung heroes. These individuals care for loved ones who have disabilities, illnesses, or are aging. Their role encompasses emotional, physical, and often financial support required to provide care to a loved one. Providing billions of hours of unpaid labor each year, caregivers are the backbone of in-home care. Not only does their dedication improve the lives of those they care for, but it also significantly reduces the strain on our healthcare system.

As a provider of accessibility and mobility solutions, Next Day Access is committed to supporting caregivers in their vital roles. From installing wheelchair ramps to providing mobility scooters and stair lifts, Next Day Access offers products and services designed to ease caregiving physical demands. By enhancing home accessibility, caregivers can focus on the emotional and personal aspects of care, which are just as crucial as the physical ones.

Keep reading to discover the significance of National Family Caregivers Month. Explore the journey of caregiving and learn how Next Day Access empowers caregivers and those in their care. We will highlight how the right tools and support can transform caregiving from a challenge into an experience that brings families closer together, fostering independence and dignity for all involved.

Understanding National Family Caregivers Month

National Family Caregivers Month was first established by the  National Family Caregivers Association in the mid-1990s. It has been recognized by an official proclamation from the United States President annually since then. NFCM acknowledges the contributions of family caregivers, increases support for caregiving activities, and raises awareness about caregiver issues. Each year, a new theme is chosen to highlight different aspects of caregiving. For example, recent themes have focused on the challenges of caregiving during the pandemic, the need for respite, and the importance of caregiver health and wellness.

The significance of this month lies in its ability to shine a light on family caregivers’ often invisible work. It’s a time to advocate for stronger public policy to support caregivers and educate communities about the resources available to assist them. Statistics from various sources, including the AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, paint a vivid picture of family caregiving in the U.S.:

  • Approximately 53 million Americans serve as unpaid caregivers for adult family members or friends.
  • Caregivers can spend, on average, 24.4 hours per week providing care, with 1 in 4 spending 41 hours or more.
  • Their unpaid contributions were valued at around $470 billion in 2017, which is more than Walmart’s annual sales.
graphic showing family caregiving statistics from previous list

The Life of a Caregiver

The life of a caregiver is one of constant balance and adaptation. Day-to-day responsibilities can include managing medications, assisting with personal hygiene, preparing meals, and providing transportation to appointments. Caregivers often have to perform complex medical tasks that were once the domain of only healthcare professionals. These tasks include wound care, injections, and operating medical equipment.

graphic list of caregiver tasks: manage medications, assist with hygiene, prepare meals, provide transport

Caregiver’s emotional and physical impact cannot be overstated. Caregivers often experience high levels of stress, which can lead to physical health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, caregivers often experience mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. The emotional toll can be exacerbated by the financial strain many caregivers experience. Caregivers may need to reduce work hours or leave employment entirely.

There are often multiple roles played by caregivers. They are providers, ensuring the safety and well-being of their charges. They are also family members, with an emotional bond and personal history that can complicate the caregiving dynamic. This dual role can be a source of strength and challenge, as caregivers navigate the intersection of care and familial love.

The Caregiver’s Support System

Caregiver roles are often so demanding that they can overshadow the caregiver’s own needs for support, rest, and assistance. A robust support system is not just beneficial; it’s a critical component of caregiver well-being. Support networks can include family members, friends, healthcare professionals, and caregiver support organizations. These networks provide emotional support, practical assistance, and a break from the day-to-day responsibilities of caregiving.

Numerous resources and organizations are dedicated to supporting caregivers. For instance, the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) offer a wealth of online resources, including how-to videos, peer support, and policy advocacy. Government programs, such as the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), provide grants to states to fund various supports that help family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible.

Graphic of resources for Caregivers: Family Caregiver Alliance logo, National Alliance for Caregiving logo, National Family Caregiver Support Program logo

Community assistance programs also play a vital role. Local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) can be a starting point for finding services like respite care, transportation, and legal assistance. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers resources through the Administration for Community Living. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also provide information on coverage for certain caregiver services.

Solutions to Empower Caregivers and Recipients

Next Day Access has curated a suite of products designed to empower both caregivers and those they care for. These products enhance safety, independence, and quality of life. Each product serves a specific purpose in the caregiving journey, addressing the unique challenges faced by individuals with mobility issues.

graphic showing list of solutions

These products are not only about functionality; they are about restoring freedom to caregivers 

and those they care for. The goal is to reduce the physical strain on caregivers and increase the autonomy of care recipients to improve the quality of life for both parties.

graphic of "Next Day Access was a life saver" quote

By listening to caregiver needs and responding with innovative products and compassionate service, Next Day Access has become an integral part of the caregiving community. For example, caregiver Justin Kaipus shared, “Next Day Access was a life saver. I needed two grab bars installed in my senior parents shower and Dave and his team came out the next day.” Another stated, “I’d like to personally thank Brian Week at Next Day Access for coming out of his way to service the Freecurve stairlift my elderly mother and father use daily. We really appreciate his professionalism, quick response, and wisdom.”

10 Ways to ​​Support the Caregivers in Your Life

Beyond the tangible benefits of products designed to alleviate caregiving’s physical demands, there exist a multitude of ways to support the caregiver in your life. These pillars of compassion and resilience often carry on their duties quietly, yet they deserve every bit of support we can offer. Here’s how you can extend a helping hand:

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1. Offer Your Time

One of the most precious resources for a caregiver is time. Offer to spend time with the person they care for, giving the caregiver a much-needed break. Even a couple of hours can recharge them.

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2. Listen and Acknowledge

Sometimes, what a caregiver needs most is someone to listen. Acknowledge their dedication and the emotional and physical toll it can take. A simple conversation can be a significant source of comfort.

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3. Help with Errands

Caregivers often struggle to find time for everyday tasks. Offering to run errands like grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, or even taking a pet for a walk can be an enormous help.

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4. Provide Meals

Preparing meals can be time-consuming. You can help by delivering homemade meals or arranging for a meal delivery service. This not only eases their workload but also ensures they can enjoy a nutritious meal.

education yourself graphic with person sitting at a computer

5. Educate Yourself

Understand the specific condition the care recipient is dealing with. This knowledge can make you a more effective supporter and may also provide the caregiver with someone to discuss care-related issues.

6. Organize a Support Schedule

Coordinate with other friends and family members to create a support schedule. This can help ensure that the caregiver has ongoing support and doesn’t have to manage everything alone.

7. Encourage Self-Care

Caregivers often neglect their own health and well-being. Encourage them to take care of themselves by gifting them with a massage, a gym membership, or simply some quiet time for themselves.

8. Professional Support

Sometimes the most effective way to help is to encourage professional services. This might include cleaning services, respite care, or professional caregiving assistance.

9. Financial Assistance

If possible, offer financial support. This could be direct financial help or assistance in finding and applying for grants and benefits.

10. Celebrate Their Efforts

Recognize and celebrate caregiver efforts, not just on special occasions but regularly. A thank you card, a small gift, or a public acknowledgment of their dedication can go a long way.

The Emotional Journey of Caregiving

Caregiver’s emotional landscape is as varied and complex as the caregivers themselves. It is a role that can be rewarding and challenging. It is filled with moments of profound connection and the satisfaction of providing care for a loved one.

Caregivers often share touching stories about their experiences. One caregiver spoke of the deep bond that developed while caring for her mother with dementia, finding joy in the small moments they shared each day. Another expressed the sense of fulfillment he felt when using a patient lift to comfortably move his father, allowing him to maintain his father’s dignity during personal care tasks.

Child and caregiver smiling with man in wheelchair

Yet, the journey is not without its stresses. Caregivers must often find ways to cope with their emotional toll. Support groups, counseling, and self-care are vital strategies caregivers use to manage stress and maintain well-being.

Next Day Access’s commitment to accessibility extends beyond providing products. It’s about delivering personalized solutions that fit the unique needs of each home and individual. They understand that no two caregiving situations are the same, and they pride themselves on offering customized solutions that foster independence for individuals with mobility challenges.

The company’s role in fostering independence is evident in their approach to home 

modifications. Whether it’s a custom-fit stair lift that matches the exact curve of a staircase or a bathroom retrofit designed to accommodate specific mobility needs, Next Day Access ensures that each solution is tailored to the individual’s lifestyle and the caregiver’s capacity to assist.

This commitment to customization and adaptation is a cornerstone of Next Day Access’s philosophy. It’s not just about making homes accessible; it’s about supporting the independence and dignity of every individual they serve, and in turn, empowering the caregivers who support them.

Caregiving often comes with significant financial and legal responsibilities that can impact the caregiver’s present and future income stability. Planning for long-term caregiving involves navigating a complex landscape of costs, including medical expenses, home modifications, and potential loss of income. Caregivers are encouraged to seek financial advice to manage these expenses effectively and explore insurance options that may cover some aspects of care.

Medicare and Medicaid provide some relief, although coverage is limited. Medicare may cover certain medical devices or short-term care costs, but it does not typically pay for long-term care. Medicaid coverage varies by state but may offer more comprehensive support for long-term care needs, especially for those with limited income and resources.

Legal considerations are equally relevant. Caregivers should know legal documents such as powers of attorney, advance directives, and living wills. These documents ensure that the caregiver can make decisions on behalf of the care recipient if they cannot do so themselves. Resources like the National Center on Law & Elder Rights (NCLER) provide legal training and technical assistance to address older adults’ needs.

The Future of Caregiving

The caregiving industry is on the cusp of transformation, with technological advancements paving the way for innovative tools and resources. Wearable devices that monitor health, telehealth services, and smart home technologies are becoming more prevalent, offering new ways to provide care and monitor care recipients’ well-being.

Predictions for the caregiving industry suggest an increase in demand for home-based care and an increased focus on technologies that promote independence and safety. Next Day Access is committed to staying at the forefront of product development, ensuring that their offerings meet the evolving needs of caregivers and those they care for. The company continually explores innovations in products and services that enhance the caregiving experience.

Your Partner in Caregiving

Next day access is your partner in caregiving graphic with people holding hands

As we reflect on National Family Caregivers Month, we are reminded of the immense value caregivers bring to our communities and the lives they touch. This observance is not just a time for recognition but also a call to action for support, advocacy, and tangible assistance for those who give so much of themselves to care for loved ones.

We all have a part to play in supporting caregivers. Whether it’s through advocating for policy changes, offering a listening ear, or providing resources, every action counts. Consider how you can engage with Next Day Access, whether it’s for yourself, a loved one, or someone you know who is in the caregiving role. Explore their products, take advantage of their services, and join the conversation about how we can all contribute to a society that fully supports those who care for others.

Let us all take a moment to honor the dedication of family caregivers. Their unwavering commitment to providing care strengthens the very fabric of our society. This National Family Caregivers Month, let us commit to not only celebrating their contributions but also to actively supporting them throughout the year.

Every family is unique. However, over time, many families will find themselves in similar situations of taking care of an aging adult family member. Being the sole caretaker can be overwhelming at times. If siblings are involved and willing to work cohesively, it is best for the entire family.

In a recent AARP article by Dr. Barry Jacobs, he shares his experience working with his brother to care for their mother. He points out the challenges and conflicts that come up, yet, also identifies how you can bond with your siblings as you work together to ensure your aging loved ones receive the best care.

Here are a few of his tips and some of our own for working cohesively as siblings:

Remember, the primary focus is on your loved one’s care quality.

If you are spending your energy in conflict with each other, you could be unintentionally diverting your attention from your primary focus. As an example, two brothers have the potential to be at odds.

One brother stays home and works as the caretaker for their relative, while the other brother works every day and sends money. Each brother could carry resentment, but instead, they have chosen this structure because it works the best to meet their relative’s needs.

It also helps them keep the aging adult in the comfort of their home. Your primary focus should always be ensuring your loved one stays healthy, comfortable, and safe. Also, when siblings are in conflict, your loved one will likely pick up on this and become upset. Put aside your differences for the adult in your care. 

Everything does not have to be equal; things just need to make sense.

It is unlikely you will be able to distribute the caretaking tasks equally. To help everyone, distribute the caretaking responsibilities depending on each person’s situation. Since siblings tend to live various distances from their parents, they have different life responsibilities, and financial situations, it is normal for each sibling to have different caregiving tasks that best suit their capabilities. 

Dr. Jacobs reminds readers this inequality does not have to be a bad thing. If one sibling is closer and can get to the parent sooner, let them take the lead on delegating tasks. Perhaps you can divide the grocery shopping with each sibling taking a different week. These days this can work for siblings out of town as well, as they can have groceries delivered. Also, try to take turns taking your parents to doctor’s appointments if possible. 

Someone will always end up doing more, but every sibling should be contributing in their way. Try to gather for family meetings so you can check in and acknowledge each other’s contributions. The meetings will help keep things running smoothly.

Be kind to each other.

When you have a kind and loving parent who appreciates everything you all are doing, things are more manageable. Sadly, for some, your aging parent could be not so friendly and appreciative, maybe due to Dementia or other health problems. They can be mean and hard to handle.

In these scenarios, it is imperative siblings extend kindness and lean on each other for support. You could also be grieving due to a parent who falls ill and begins to need help. Grieving together will strengthen your bond. 

At Next Day Access, we are here to help. We aim to provide solutions for aging adults choosing to age in place. We offer a vast amount of various medical equipment and accessibility devices to keep aging adults or people with disabilities safe and comfortable at home.

Many of our devices are also geared to help caregivers perform their daily tasks with less difficulty such as a patient lift. Our professionals are also happy to do in-home consultations to ensure the home is safe. We encourage you to contact your nearest Next Day Access today to see how we can help.

Being a caregiver is a noble endeavor. Whether you are a caregiver by profession or taking care of a family member, we know at times it is not easy, and you could suffer from burnout. According to Pew Research Center, 40 million adults in North America are taking care of someone who is chronically ill, disabled, or aging.

Many times, once you are feeling signs of burnout, your brain could be suffering a psychological condition brought on by unrelieved stress. Here are a few warning signs that you might be feeling burnt out.

Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout

  • You are always tired. 
  • You have an issue with sleep-you either can’t sleep or have difficulty waking up. 
  • Weight loss or weight gain due to changes in eating habits 
  • A feeling of hopelessness 
  • Neglecting your physical or emotional needs 
  • Not spending time doing things you once enjoyed 
  • Mood swings 
  • Low immunity caused by stress 
  • Beginning to get irritable with your patient or loved one 
  • Physical problems like headaches or stomach aches 
  • Anxiety about your future 

Noticing these signs might upset you, especially if you genuinely care for the person you are helping, but you need to realize that you are only human. When your needs are not being met, burnout is bound to happen. Burnout does not mean you love them any less. It just means you need a break. Here are a few ways to avoid burnout as a caregiver.

How to Avoid Burnout as a Caregiver

  • Take care of yourself by making sure you eat a healthy diet and exercise. If possible, talk to a doctor about any sleep issues so you can get a good night’s rest each night. 
  • Ask for help. No one can do everything. There are just not enough hours in the day, and it does not make you a terrible caregiver to ask for help. In fact, it makes you a better caregiver when you know your limitations. 
  • Give yourself permission to get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Whether it’s getting a manicure or seeing a movie, invest in your happiness. 
  • Check with your work regarding family leave benefits. This could help add more hours to your day. 
  • Join a support group. Many other people are going through similar struggles and communicating with them can drastically improve your mood. 
  • If you are a family caregiver, check into hiring a nurse from a company like Home Instead. They have nurses on call that can come and sit with your loved one to give you time to run errands etc.  

At Next Day Access, one of our top goals is to be there for caregivers. Whether helping you decide on a wheelchair ramp or installing accessibility devices like grab bars in the bathroom, we exist to make life easier for you and your loved one.

We offer several different accessibility devices and mobility equipment to help you keep your loved one safe and comfortable as well as items that help put less strain on you, like patient lifts and walk-in bathtubs. We urge you to explore our website and see for yourself the many solutions we can provide for you and your loved one’s needs. Contact us today!

Sadly, many people in hospitals or nursing homes receive care that aligns not with their wishes. Aging adults need to voice their end-of-life requests to their families and caretakers. One of the biggest requests by aging adults is the desire to die at home surrounded by loved ones and not in a hospital room. If they express their wishes, the provider may see if palliative care or hospice care can be brought in for at-home treatment.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care exists for patients living with severe illnesses such as heart failure or cancer. It is usually a step before Hospice care. The palliative care team focuses on treatment to provide the medication needed and maintain maximum comfort for the patient. The goals are to enhance the patient’s life by focusing on their quality of life and help release some pressure from caretakers or family. The organized services supplied by this type of care can be helpful to an aging adult.

A patient can receive palliative care along with curative care and may start at the time of diagnosis. Yet, over time if the doctor or palliative team believes ongoing treatment is no longer helping, they can either continue with comfort care or agree to call in hospice care. 

What is Hospice?

The website seniorsafetyadvice.com provides an excellent definition of hospice.

Hospice is a type of health care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient. They manage the pain and symptoms and attend to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering. Hospice care provides an alternative to therapies focused on life-prolonging measures that may be arduous, likely to cause more symptoms, or are not aligned with a person’s goals. 

Many people think hospice signals the end, but that is not always the case. Hospice services exist to help within the palliative care space as well. Although palliative care predominately exists for terminally ill individuals, it also treats illness. Even if your doctor says your loved one has a 20% chance of living, your loved one can qualify for palliative care. 

Hospice care is beneficial for your loved one and helps the caretakers as well. Once the hospice nurse arrives, you can expect them to help make sure your loved one has all the equipment and medication needed and will then connect you with the appropriate person for the following services. Most hospice nurses, however, perform the following tasks:

  • Nursing care 
  • Grief counseling 
  • Social Work Services 
  • Clergy visitations 
  • Homemaking assistance 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Occupational therapy 
  • Speech-language therapy 
  • Pain management 

At Next Day Access, we are here to help you as you go through these challenging days with your loved one or patient. We offer many different devices that help to ensure your loved one is safe and comfortable. We also offer a complimentary consultation to help you determine if you need additional accessibility devices at your home. Contact us when you are ready, and we will help.

Many family caregivers do not get proper training on transferring someone with mobility difficulties from one place to another. For example, one of the most common tasks is to help someone in a wheelchair move safely to a toilet. Thankfully, there are a handful of toilet transfer techniques to help you.

If you do not do the transfer correctly, you could injure yourself or your loved one. We found a few transfer tips from Daily Caring we would like to share with you.

4 Toilet Transfer Techniques for Family Caregivers

Prep the Space

  • Remove rugs, bathmats, or any other trip hazards in the bathroom in the space you need for transferring. 
  • Move the wheelchair feet out of the way. 
  • Have your body set to perform the transfer. 
  • Move the wheelchair into the proper position and lock the brakes. 

Help Them Up From the Wheelchair

  • Have your loved one scoot up to the edge of the wheelchair and lean forward. 
  • Ask them to either hold your forearms or put their hands on the arms of the wheelchair and push up. 
  • Stand directly in front of them, hold their waist and stand up together, keeping your body stiff and controlled. Use your knees to lower and raise your body. Do not bend over. Bending over is how you could injure your back. 
  • If their legs are not strong, put your knees in front of theirs while they stand. This is called blocking. 
  • If they are weaker on one side, stand on that side to provide additional support. 

Sit Them on the Toilet

  • Using small steps, guide them to pivot and turn 90 degrees and back up until the toilet seat is at the back of their knees. 
  • Help them pull down their pants and undergarments. 
  • Have them bend their knees and easily lower themselves down to the seat. Once again, use your knees to raise and lower your body to avoid injury. 
  • Consider investing in a Bio Bidet. Bio Bidet is known for having the best toilets and toilet seats for all homes. In addition, the cleansing method utilizing a water stream sets them apart from their competition. The Bio Bidet will help ensure that your loved one gets as clean as possible after using the restroom. 

Return to the Wheelchair

  • Get them to move forward on the toilet seat and lean towards you. 
  • Ask them to hold your forearms and push up. 
  • Stand close to them so you can hold on to their waist while you both stand.  
  • Using small steps helps them pivot 90 degrees again and back to the wheelchair. But, first, make sure the brakes are still locked on the wheelchair. 
  • Once they feel the wheelchair seat at the back of their legs, they slowly return to a seated position. You will need to hold their waist as they take a seat. 

Essential Safety Tips for Transfer

  • Never try to pull an older adult up. 
  • Bend from the waist. 
  • Do not let them hold on to towel bars or toilet paper holders, as these could be non-sturdy and cause them to slip. 
  • Make sure they do not hold you by the shoulders or the neck. This will help to prevent injury. 

At Next Day Access, anyone with difficulty in mobility can find products to help keep them safe at home and on the go. For the bathroom specifically, we offer Toilet Support Arms, Grab Bars, Drive Commode Chairs, Bio Bidets, and more. Contact us to see the many ways we can help improve your life. 

Serving as a caregiver for a loved one from a long distance is not easy. Despite the distance, you want to ensure your loved one receives the best care. Here is some advice on how to ensure your loved one is receiving quality care despite the distance.

Get as much information as possible.

Experienced caregivers encourage you to learn as much as you can about your friend or family member’s diagnosis, the medicine they need, and the available resources. This information can aid you in understanding what they are dealing with, their prognosis, anticipating the length of the illness, preventing any crisis, and assisting in their healthcare management. Knowing all their healthcare needs will make talking to their doctor easier. Written permission to receive your loved one’s medical and financial information is vital. 

Once gathered, keep all the information organized in an online spreadsheet or folder. The information you will need includes all the essential information about medical care, contact numbers, social services, and their financial situation. Make sure to keep the information up to date and share copies with other trusted caregivers.

Set time aside to visit your loved one.

While you are in town, use this time wisely to gather any needed documents or things your loved one may need. It is a good idea to make a list of what they need before you come to town. For example, does your loved one need new winter clothes? Is their television on the fritz? Create an agenda for your trip and a list of what you need to bring. Remember your loved one likely misses you and would like to spend time with you when you are in town. You can take them to a worship service, play a game of cards, or watch a movie. Overall, just spending quality time together is sure to delight and revive your loved one.

Stay in touch with caregivers and doctors.

The needs of aging parents vary depending on their mobility levels. Once you have an established caregiver, stay in touch with them. You should also keep in touch with your loved one’s doctor. Make it clear to the doctor you would like a report after every doctor’s visit. You can also request occasional teleconferences with your loved one’s healthcare team. Your loved one can also be assigned a social worker who will help you stay abreast of any situations that require decisions on your part. 

Make sure your loved one knows how to get in touch with you.

If your loved one is in a nursing home, make sure they have a personal line for calls. It is a good idea to have your name and phone number written in big and bold letters on their dry erase board. If your loved one is aging at home, you may consider purchasing a cell phone. Spend time teaching them how to use it and make sure they know how to reach you by either writing your number on a large board or saving it on their phone. Also, give them detailed instructions on how to find your contact information on their phone. 

Find resources for your loved ones in their community.

You can find local senior centers by doing an internet search. Check with the Area Agency on Aging or the Eldercare Locator in their communities. These groups can recommend several helpful resources.  

Make sure your loved one’s home is safely set up.

Whether they need a walk-in tub or a wheelchair ramp, we at Next Day Access have an assortment of mobility products to help those with accessibility concerns. We offer many different products to keep your loved ones safe and comfortable. Our goals are to help those with accessibility concerns and to give peace of mind to caregivers that their loved one’s homes are safe. 

Love is in the air this February. On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate our sweethearts. This Valentine’s Day, consider showing love and appreciation for the caregivers in your life. Many caregivers work diligently to make your life more accessible and comfortable. They deserve to feel noticed. Here are five suggestions on how to show your caregiver love.

Cook for Them

Set up a meal delivery for your caregiver. Sometimes after a long day, a cooked meal can be the greatest gift. With meal delivery services like Hello Fresh or Home Chef, your caregiver has all the ingredients delivered to the door to make a scrumptious yummy dinner.

Clean for Them

Order a “Maid for a Day.” If you work several hours a week, laundry and dishes are likely to pile up. If you hire a maid for your caregiver, they will enjoy coming home to a clean house. If your caregiver lives with you, you will be able to spend more quality time with your caregiver. 

Self-Care Day

Encourage your caregiver to spend time on “self-care.” Self-care can be as simple as reading a favorite book, taking a nice bubble bath, or putting on a facemask. However, if you notice your caregiver seems overwhelmed lately, maybe treat them to a day at a spa, getting their hair done, or getting a pampering massage. 

Go Out on an Adventure!

Another lovely way to show your caregiver love could be taking them out for the day. Perhaps you could grab lunch see a movie, or visit a new exhibit at a museum. The gift of your time and an outing together goes a long way.

Write a Letter

Most of the suggestions mentioned cost money, but if you are on a budget, you can still show your caregiver love. You could spend some time writing a letter telling them how much they mean to you. You do not have to spend a large amount of money to show love. 

At Next Day Access, we have the pleasure of working with caregivers regularly. We notice all the hard work caregivers do. We believe caregivers deserve every bit of love shown to them this month and every day. If you need products to help you get through your day safer, comfortably, and independently, contact us. 

Caregivers play a vital role as your loved one ages. They are responsible for the physical and emotional support of someone who can no longer care for themself. But we can often overlook or become too busy to show appreciation to our caregivers. That’s why we’re sharing a few ways to show gratitude to the many individuals that help our loved ones stay comfortable and happy.   

1. Surprise of Help 

Giving the caregiver the gift of assistance is a wonderful way to demonstrate gratitude. We all wish there were more hours in a day, and getting help for your caregiver shows you notice how much they do every day. You could plan for someone to come in and clean the house or cook a few meals. Whatever it takes to take a few things off your caregiver’s to-do list would be helpful and likely appreciated.

2. Thank You Letter

A thank-you letter can be as simple as writing a few special words on a slip of paper or an elegant card. It is vital for the caregiver to feel their efforts do not go unnoticed. The simple act of writing this letter could have an enduring effect. Letters are always great to keep and look back on. 

3. Extra Time-Off

If your financial situation allows it, you can hire an hourly caregiver through an agency with caregivers on call. When you give your caregiver some extra time off to focus on themselves, they can rest and return to the job rejuvenated. Caregivers need to have a break so they can focus on personal responsibilities.

4. A Gift Card 

Who doesn’t love a gift card? Gift cards are perfect way of showing appreciation. It’s a simple way of acknowledging their hard work and giving them something with immediate value.  

5. Take Them Out to Dinner

To be a caregiver, you are often putting the needs of someone else above your own. This is noble work, and it takes a special person to do it with compassion and patience. Sometimes, the best way to show your appreciation is taking them out for a meal at their favorite restaurant.  

Regardless of how you decide to show appreciation to your caregiver, they will be thankful. At Next Day Access, we have a variety of products to assist caregivers. Whether you need help lifting or bathing patients, we offer solutions to help make patient care more efficient. With our free in-home safety evaluations, we can see what areas of your home could use modifications so that your home is safe and secure. 

Inevitably there will come a time when you need a home health aide to take care of your aging loved one or even share the responsibility. Do not look at it like you are giving up, but instead, you are doing them a favor.  

For some parents approaching the subject of a caregiver, other than yourself, may cause them to be upset. However difficult the conversation can be, it could be the only way to ensure your aging loved one is receiving top notch care every day. To help you decide if your loved one needs a home health aide, here’s a list of warning signs.

A Lack in Personal Hygiene  

A change in personal appearance and behavior are common indicators that your loved one needs some help at home. You may not notice changes in personal hygiene, such as wearing dirty clothes. Notice your family member’s appearance and pay attention to their body odor. These are some signs your aging loved one could be letting their hygiene go. It can become too troublesome for them, or it could be memory loss.

Often, as adults age, their skin becomes thinner and thus more brittle, and a shower could physically hurt them. It could be time for sponge baths.

Weight Loss 

This could sneak up on you if you are used to seeing your parent/grandparent often. But if you find that your loved one appears thinner than what you consider their “normal” weight, it may be a sign of trouble for the future. Possible causes could be trouble with meal preparation, depression, memory loss or cognitive decline. 

It is common for people suffering from a memory impairment, such as Alzheimer’s to forget how to cook their food or even eat.

Housekeeping is No Longer a Priority 

If you notice your parent’s home is full of clutter and messy when it is typically in tip-top shape, this could be a sign that something is wrong. They could be too tired or even depressed to perform daily chores. Depression can cause them to neglect to keep the house clean. The bottom line, a messy home can cause a healthy person to become sick. Their mood will lift in a clean home, and they will relax and breathe easier.

If you notice items appearing in unusual places, for example, the container of coffee creamer tucked into the dishwasher rather than the refrigerator, or shoes placed on the table rather than beneath it, this could also be a sign of early-onset dementia, stroke, or even Alzheimer’s.

When to look for help?

If you find you are exhausted and overwhelmed trying to take care of your relative, it may be time to consider a home health care aide. The change could upset your loved one at first, but it is likely they will grow to appreciate the companionship and help around the house. Encourage and support them as you transition to finding a home health aide.

Next Day Access is in the business of improving the quality of life for seniors. We have a large variety of home modifications, accessibility devices, and mobility equipment to help older loved ones get around easier in their homes and while they are out in town. Contact us today for a free in-home consultation.  

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