National Caregivers Day Date in the current year: February 16, 2024

National Caregivers Day National Caregivers Day is observed annually on the third Friday of February. It was created to honor healthcare professionals who specialize in providing long-term and hospice care.

In the broad sense of the term, caregivers are people who assist individuals that need help taking care of themselves. They most commonly help those who have impairments related to illness, disability, old age, or a mental disorder. In many situations, caregiver duties fall on a family member or several family members.

In the narrow sense, caregivers, also called carers or support workers, are paid professionals who provide care and support in a variety of settings: private residences, residential care facilities, assisted living communities, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.

Exact responsibilities of a caregiver may vary depending on the patient, but the most common ones include assisting with hygiene tasks, performing basic housekeeping tasks, preparing meals and helping patients eat if necessary, administering medications, taking patients to healthcare appointments, providing emotional support, etc.

In the United States, qualifications for professional caregivers vary by state. Having a high school diploma or a GED is the bare minimum; in most cases, those who want to become a caregiver, especially one with more healthcare-related responsibilities, are required to complete a licensed training program or attend nursing classes at a community college.

There are several types of caregiver certifications one can pursue: CNA (certified nursing assistant), HHA (Home Health Aide), NCCC (National Caregiver Certification Course), etc. Some employers/caregiver agencies may require candidates to have a first aid and/or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification. Of course, soft skills are also extremely important in caregiving. They include communication skills, compassion, patience, an ability to build trust and form a connection with patients, and many more.

Caregivers provide support to those who need it most and do it with professionalism and compassion. Their hours can be long and demanding, and inevitable caregiver stress puts them at risk of burnout (according to research, the mental strain on professional caregivers is much higher than the mental strain experienced by those who provide care for family members). This is why it is so important to acknowledge the important work of caregivers and ensure that their dedication is appreciated.

National Caregivers Day was launched in 2015 by the Providers Association for Home Health & Hospice Agencies (PAHHHA), a Dallas-based association of long-term care providers focused on promoting and advancing the delivery of high-quality and safe care to the frail, physically challenged, elderly, and people with language barriers. The inaugural observance was held on February 19, 2016.

The main goal of National Caregivers Day is to recognize dedicated caregivers across the nation who provide long-term and hospice care. You can get involved by learning more about what caregivers do and why this job is so demanding and important, showing appreciation to the caregivers you know, and spreading awareness on social media with the hashtag #NationalCaregiversDay.

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National Caregivers Day, professional days, observances in the United States, professional caregivers, support workers