National Family Caregivers Month Is a Chance to Spread Happiness

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by Ray Burow |

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The act of giving thanks is good for the soul. In fact, gratefulness has been linked to happiness, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

“Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships,” the article noted.

If being grateful harnesses personal positivity, it makes sense that heaping it on another person could do wonders for their self-esteem. For a person caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, a dose of gratitude goes a long way in helping them to stay the long, arduous course.

Their loved one may not have the cognitive capacity to demonstrate gratitude or exhort their carer with positive comments like, “You’re doing a bang-up job.”

Caregivers don’t expect it, but just as the positive psychology study indicates, gratitude goes a long way in cultivating personal happiness. This is where you and I come in. Imagine being able to sprinkle happiness like fairy dust simply by extending a kind word.

Give honor to whom honor is due

We can speak on behalf of a caregiver’s loved one, heaping praise and giving “honor where honor is due.” With more than 5 million people in the United States diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you probably have someone within your sphere of influence who needs to hear that their work from behind the scenes matters.

Cheer them on!

Intellectually, caregivers know they are increasing the quality of life for their loved one, but receiving a word of encouragement from you will speak volumes. The Alzheimer’s Association is giving us the opportunity to send a shoutout to caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month.

November was designated as such by former President Bill Clinton in 1997. Its purpose is to bolster and affirm the 39.8 million unsung heroes providing care in the United States. Yes, that’s a daunting number of folks who could use a word of encouragement, but don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer girth of statistics.

Caregivers are everywhere

Think about that one person you know or have heard that is caring for a parent, spouse, or child. Remember how you felt a little sorry for them, and at the same time, you were so happy it was them and not you? Don’t feel guilty about that. Caregivers don’t wish their fate on you or anyone else, but your simple call with a kind word or gesture during National Family Caregivers Month might help them beyond what you can imagine. The Alzheimer’s Association is making it fun and easy.

Shout out a tribute and make someone happy

Visit the Alzheimer’s Association website to leave a tribute for the caregiver you know and appreciate. Share your sentiment on the page. You don’t have to be a superb writer to honor someone this way. You can’t post anonymously, but the caregiver you’re posting about can remain anonymous. Share a few details so that they will recognize themselves, then forward the website link to them.

If sharing publicly isn’t your style, it’s OK to find another means of demonstrating gratitude and praise for a caregiver’s job well done.

Spreading happiness through a kind word isn’t difficult, but it is a big deal. Who will you make a big deal during National Family Caregivers Month?

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Note: Alzheimer’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Alzheimer’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease.

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