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Readers’ Views

Thank you

To the Editor:

I want to say thank you to everyone who elected me for Fairmont City Council At-Large on Nov. 3rd. I’m excited to represent the people of Fairmont and grateful you have put your trust in me. I pledge to work hard on behalf of Fairmont.

Michele Miller

Fairmont

Support caregivers

To the Editor:

As you prepare to take off in an airplane, the flight attendants give a few minutes to review safety protocols in emergency situations. If something goes wrong, they always state, help yourself before you help someone else. This is an important concept for care giving as well. Many older adults have been isolated throughout this difficult year, and many are depending on a caregiver (spouse, child, sibling, or parent) for socialization, among other things. This may prevent many caregivers from taking care of themselves, meeting with friends, going to the doctor, or going out to religious activities. If a caregiver goes too long without taking care of themselves, they will inevitably suffer from burnout. According to AARP and the National Alliance on Care giving study Care giving in the U.S. 2020, 36 percent of family caregivers stated they are in a highly stressful environment. Communities, families, and other organizations must support caregivers, especially going into this pandemic winter.

They are numerous ways we can support caregivers.

q Give them a break, tell them you can (if able) care for their

loved one so they can go out into the community.

q Look for signs of burnout; these can include depression,

exhaustion, anger, increased health issues in the caregiver or

further social withdrawal; and,

qAssist in finding local support groups or provide resources to

find caregiver support groups, which many are currently

offered online.

Finally, caregivers offer numerous supports that the general public rarely notices, and many people do not recognize that they are a caregiver. It makes it very difficult to assist people in their caregiving journey if they do not realize they are a caregiver. Therefore, look at your day-to-day life. Do you help someone in their daily routine? If so, you might be a caregiver. How are you doing?

Jason W. Swanson

Executive Director, Minnesota River Agency on Aging

Mankato

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