Caregivers do one of the most important jobs in any community. But in taking care of loved ones who need support, including aging parents, spouses or special needs children, caregivers also face a host of challenges. Given that, support for caregivers becomes a very important issue.
In many cases, caregivers may feel forgotten or invisible in their own communities. They also face the possibility of developing “caregiver fatigue,” especially when they face the challenges of caregiving while also facing financial difficulties.
Those looking to give support for caregivers have many options, including programs such as the Hope Grows Iris Movement, founded to provide support for caregivers.
The Hope Grows Iris Movement
The Hope Grows Iris Movement was launched to honor family caregivers by raising the level of awareness about what they do, encourage appreciation of their efforts and provide assistance. That latter goal is being accomplished through the sale of Hope Grows items.
Hope Grows uses the blue-bearded iris flower for the movement because it symbolizes care. The three petals of the flower symbolize faith, valor, and wisdom. Appreciating and spending time in nature is something that is foundational to the Hope Grows mission, which emphasizes the benefits of seeking wellness through nature.
The Iris Movement emphasizes the three areas mentioned above in the following ways.
Awareness. Using the movement to raise awareness of the need to support caregivers and their recognition in the community. The idea is to instill pride in caregivers for what they do.
Appreciation. Feeling valued is key to emotional wellbeing. Hope Grows how to raise appreciation for what caregivers do through the Iris Movement.
Assistance. Support is needed for caregivers beyond just the emotional. Hope Grows, a nonprofit organization, intends to raise support and funding for caregivers, many of whom struggle financially.
Hope Grows offers a number of products in the Hope Grows Store in connection with the Iris Movement. Proceeds from the purchase of all the products benefit Hope Grows programs and services that provide support to caregivers. They include The Caring Pin, The Caring Decal, The Caring Note Card, Iris Bulbs for Fall planting, all of which are available on the Hope Grows website.
Why Caregivers Need Support
Caregivers face a variety of challenges, depending on their personal situation. These are some of the reasons why caregiving can quickly become more difficult than many people may realize.
It Can Get Complicated
Taking care of someone who cannot take care of themselves is demanding. It can involve a range of tasks that require different skills. For example, caregivers may have to provide meals, do yard work, handle all the grocery shopping and manage household finances.
It’s Hard to Ask For Help
Since many people don’t understand the difficulties of providing care, it can be hard for caregivers to ask for help when they really need it. It’s helpful for them at some point to sit down and explain the details of caregiving to the rest of the family.
It’s A Long-Term Commitment
Caregivers typically spend about five years in a caregiving role. For many, it lasts much longer, especially if children are involved.
Ways to Show Support
In addition to programs such as the Hope Grows Iris Movement, people can show support in a number of ways. They include:
- Offering emotional support to caregivers. Sometimes having a sympathetic ear can make all the difference
- Providing help. Helping with even one task such as mowing the lawn can make all the difference for caregivers.
- Offer some downtime. Set up a situation where a caregiver can get out and relax, even if it’s just for dinner, a movie, a massage or a hike in nature.
- Build trust. Caring for a loved one is a big responsibility, In order to welcome your support and allow you to help, the caregiver will need to feel that you are someone who can be trusted
The federal government also offers a long list of organizations that caregivers can contact when they need support. Keep these issues in mind when considering how to provide support for caregivers. It’s one of the best things you can do for those who are sacrificing to provide such an important job to the community.