Written by: Destiny-Joyce Quinsaat-Tobosa, Program Assistant, GRANDcares
“Family members, friends, and neighbors devote countless hours to providing care to their relatives or loved ones. During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize and thank the humble heroes who do so much to keep our families and communities strong.”
President Barack Obama, NFC Month Proclamation 2012
We have just finished celebrating National Family Caregiver month! A month dedicated to family caregivers that allows organizations to raise awareness of family caregiver issues, increase support for caregivers, and most importantly CELEBRATE all they do! President Clinton signed the first National Family Caregiver Month Presidential Proclamation in 1997 and every president since has continued by issuing an annual proclamation recognizing and honoring family caregivers each November (https://caregiveraction.org/national-family-caregivers-month-background).
My name is Destiny and I am the GRANDcares Program Assistant in Maui County. I was introduced to the program back in 2017 when my mom started taking the classes in Kahului. Since then, GRANDcares has been very important and close to my heart. Currently, I can see my mom taking the tools she has learned from the classes and implementing them into her own life to help reduce the everyday stress she experiences from taking care of my niece. My mom often uses “Me Moments” to help her regain her train of thought and to help her calm down. She also uses the Action Plan in order to set and keep to her goals. The program has dramatically impacted the way my family dynamic is since we can all take some tips and use them in our day to day lives.
The Hawaii and Colorado GRANDcares programs celebrate and honor all caregiving participants – grandparents raising grandchildren and all other types of family caregivers.
Many of the grandparent caregivers who have participated in GRANDcares find it difficult at times to think of and put themselves first. But even small self-care steps taken daily or weekly have made a big difference – both to themselves and their grandchildren. Here are some of the steps our grandparents have taken:
● Take medications on time each day
● Stop for 30 minutes to watch a show (Criminal Minds is a personal favorite of mine at the moment)
● Ask for and accept help from others
● Talk to a counselor, friend or family member who is a good listener
● Post notes around the house that are reminders that you are as important as the grandchildren you are raising
We honor and celebrate all that grandparents do and sacrifice to make sure that their grandchildren grow up healthy, happy and safe. You are not alone and we encourage you to continue your great work, to reach out to others in similar situations, and most importantly to stop to take care of yourselves so that you and your grandchildren can thrive.