national family caregivers month
Embed from Getty Images Like a kid before Christmas, I eagerly await the start of November every year. As November marks
These people put their own lives on pause to care for others.
We are 34 million strong -- and need help.
Day in and day out, 90 million family caregivers in the United States fulfill a vital role on their loved one's care team. No one else is in a better position to provide comfort and support, to advocate on behalf of the patient, and to ensure continuity of care.
When it comes to Parkinson's disease, the body is the main focus. It slows down, changes, becomes clumsy and deformed, sweats, tires out quickly, and it no longer obeys its owner when it comes to tremors or dyskinesia...
As my mom lie naked from the waist down, I lifted up her legs like a toddler, while my sister slid a pad under her hips. I got a diaper out of the package left by the hospice nurse, and placed it on my mom. Never having children, this was foreign to me.
I encourage all caregivers to remember that there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to providing care. Accept that you will make mistakes. Control what you can control and let go of the rest. You didn't ask for this situation, but you are here and stepping up to care for your loved one. That is an amazing undertaking!
As the primary caregiver for my father during the last eight years of his life, I know only too well the personal challenges and rewards caregivers and their families experience. But when we realize that in 2009, 62 million family caregivers provided over $450 billion in care, we see that the personal challenges of caregiving also have significant public policy implications.
The Obama administration has declared that November is National Family Caregivers Month. The proclamation declares that family member, friends and neighbors dedicate countless hours providing care to their relatives and loved ones.