My older sister Linda Goyer Lane is part of the "sandwich generation"-- people who care for their aging parents while simultaneously supporting children of their own. When my parents began needing 24 hour care about a year and a half ago, Linda stepped up to help me care for them in a big way. She and her two sons (one in high school and one in college) have all made sacrifices to care for Mom and Dad as she began traveling to Arizona for one or two weeks at a time to join in their care. I serve as my parents' primary caregiver, but like so many working caregivers, without Linda's help, I couldn't care for my parents and get my work done.
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and on behalf of the Thanks Project, I want to take this opportunity to thank my sister for her kindness, her compassion and the countless hours she has now spent in loving care of our parents.
Linda is just one of the 42 million caregivers, a majority whom are women between the ages of 40 – 60, across the nation who provide care to their loved ones. These women may not see themselves as such, but they are family caregivers, and they play an extraordinary role in supporting those we love.
As part of an extensive Caregiver Assistance campaign, AARP and the Ad Council have just released a new series of PSAs that highlight the many (often exhausting and overwhelming) roles of a caregiver. From cook to accountant to health and personal care provider, caregivers do it all.
- Visit the new Thanks Project website where you can send your thanks to a caregiver and have it post publicly with a photo and other "thanks" from a community of people across the country.
- Take our new online quiz to see if you or someone you know is a caregiver.
- Use the hashtag #TheThanksProject to spread the spirit of thanks throughout social media.
- Finally, on a lighter note, watch our hilarious new video from comedian Jeff Foxworthy who says, "You Might Be A Caregiver If..."
My mother passed away just last month, and once again, Linda has been there. She has been a vital source of strength for me and for our father, who suffers from dementia and requires constant attention. I am so grateful to Linda for every sacrifice she has made to give our parents the quality of life and care that all of my sisters and I believe they deserve. Because even though we have both assumed many roles as family caregivers, first and foremost, we are daughters who love our parents.
Are YOU a caregiver? You may be, and you don't even know it. Take our quiz below to find out.