Since our practice’s name is literally spelled out in the name of this health holiday, I thought it’d be a perfect fit to feature on the Family Care blog.
Family Caregivers Week was started in 1994 and quickly grew into a popular event, so the White House expanded the concept to name November as Family Caregivers Month in 2014, with Family Caregivers Week falling during the last week of November. Here is the health holiday’s mission, from the official White House proclamation for the holiday:
Each day, courageous individuals step forward to help care for family members in need, their quiet acts of selflessness and sacrifice telling a story of love and devotion. Across our country, parents and children, siblings and spouses, friends and neighbors heroically give of themselves to support those in their lives affected by illness, injury, or disability. During National Family Caregivers Month, we salute the people who play difficult and exhausting roles, and we recommit to lifting up these Americans as they care for their loved ones while protecting their dignity and individuality.
In the United States, more than 60 million caregivers provide invaluable strength and assistance to their family members, and as the number of older Americans rises, so will the number of caregivers. Many of these dedicated people work full time and raise children of their own while also caring for the needs of their loved ones. Caregivers support the independence of their family members and enable them to more fully participate in their communities, and as a Nation, we have an obligation to empower these selfless individuals…
Not only this month, but every month, let us work alongside our Nation’s caregivers and make certain they are able to provide the best possible care for their loved ones for as long as necessary. Together, we recognize those who place service above self, including the women and men looking after our veterans. By offering them the same comfort, social engagement, and stability they bring to others, may we remind them that they are not alone.
At our office, it is interesting to see how many different caregiver relationships there can be. The concept is not just about taking care of your elderly parents or spouse, but simply taking care of any family member in need. A caregiver could include a wife managing her husband’s hospital discharge, or a mother taking care of her handicapped son, or a woman donating a kidney to her sister. Being able to identify the caregivers in your family is the first step towards recognizing them and appreciating the work they have done.
November is National Family Caregivers Month and the perfect time to recognize the tens of millions of Americans who help older parents, spouses, adult children with disabilities, and other loved ones to live independently in their homes and communities. We are:
- Partners and spouses caring for each other
- Fathers caring for their aging parents
- Grandparents caring for their grandkids
- Parents caring for their children with disabilities
- Grandmothers taking care of their husbands,
- Next-door neighbors’ kids and grandkids taking care of them
- Friends caring for friends and extended family
Family caregiving transcends politics and generational lines. People across party lines are caregiving, and almost 1 in 10 caregivers are age 75 or older, while 1 in 4 are millennials.
You probably know someone who selflessly helps take care your family, or their own. Sometime during this month, take a moment to say thank you.
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