Michigan, USA – November is National Family Caregivers Month. During this special time, the quiet army of family caregivers that make up an important safety net for millions of aging, injured, and seriously ill are recognized for their priceless services.
A set of limited edition adult coloring pages, created to honor the dedication of the estimated 40 million family caregivers in the U.S., will be available for free from ColorMeCaring.com, throughout the November celebration.
Being a caregiver is inherently difficult and stressful. Adult coloring is an increasingly popular way to unwind and relieve stress, and one of the few ways caregivers can take care of themselves while simultaneously taking care of others.
According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, “about 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. provided an estimated 37 billion hours of care to adults with limitations in daily activities” in the year 2013 alone.
You probably won’t recognize them if you see them at the grocery store, or on the street, but you’ll know them in the halls of hospitals and waiting rooms of medical offices. They’re the ones toting the files of medical paperwork, patiently answering questions, walking around hospital hallways and rehab rooms, guiding loved ones to and from appointments and procedures, and patiently waiting.
More often than not, a family caregiver is taking care of an ill spouse, parent, or grandparent, in addition to having to tend to their already hectic lives and schedules.
By proclamation of the President of the United States, these valiant men and women are honored in the U.S. with the designation of National Family Caregivers Month in November. In his 2016 proclamation, President Obama stated, “This month, and every month, let us lift up all those who work to tirelessly advance the health and wellness of those they love. Let us encourage those who choose to be caregivers and look toward a future where our politics and our policies reflect the selflessness and open-hearted empathy they show their loved ones every day.”
Caregiver stress and burnout are widely recognized in the medical community as serious risks that can impact the health of family caregivers, even long after their caregiving days are over. The 2016 National Family Caregivers Month theme, “Take Care to Give Care,” underlines the importance of caregivers making an effort to take some time during their day to care for themselves.
Mental health experts, dating as far back as Carl Jung in the mid-twentieth century, recommend adult coloring as a simple way to relax, reduce stress and alleviate anxiety. A study published in the journal Art Therapy in 2005 concluded that “structured coloring of a reasonably complex geometric pattern may induce a meditative state that benefits individuals suffering from anxiety.”
Because of the potential of adult coloring to aid in allaying the stress and anxiety associated with caregiving, Meri Kelly of ColorMeCaring.com has created the first coloring book series designed especially to encourage and support family caregivers. “Be Here With Love” is the first coloring book in this new series.
“My caregiving friends and I realized that coloring was the perfect activity for women like us while we are taking care of our loved ones,” said Kelly. “It’s fun, stress-relieving, portable, and you can even talk with your loved one while you’re doing it.”
The limited edition coloring pages celebrating National Family Caregivers Month can be downloaded for free, during the month of November, at ColorMeCaring.com.
ColorMeCaring.com was started by author Meri Kelly and a group of caregiving friends, and is dedicated to supporting and encouraging family caregivers. The Color Me Caring series is the first with adult coloring books specifically for caregivers.
Free coloring pages are available at: colormecaring.com/take-care-coloring-pages/