CELEBRATE NATIONAL CAREGIVERS MONTH!
NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL CAREGIVERS MONTH!!!
This post has been updated on Nov 7th, 2016. I am rerunning it for November’s National Caregiving Efforts. I’m very pleased to partner with Midlife Boulevard to bring you this very important public service information about National Caregiver Month!
I AM A CAREGIVER. I never in a million thought that this would be happening to me or if it did it certainly wouldn’t be at the age of 44!
Alot of people are under the misconception that caregivers are paid health professionals providing full-time care to someone in need of daily help. This just isn’t the case, they are like me. They not only have to manage the care of their patients but they must also maintain their own families needs and some even full time jobs. I never thought I would say this but I am one of the lucky ones. I am disabled and because of this I can stay with my own mother for the 24/7 care that she needs.
The problem is I am not alone in this. There are many, many wonderful caregivers out there. The hours suck, there is no pay and we have the horrific job of watching our loved ones fade away before our very eyes. Sound like a job you want to apply for? Me either, but when it is your loved one, like my mother, I believe that most if not all of you would choose the same thing.
I wouldn’t be a good caregiver without assistance. This is not a job you can do solo. If it weren’t for my family, friends and places that give me support like AARP.org/caregiving I would never succeed. I knew I wasn’t alone but even I was shocked to find out that there are more than 42 million people in the U.S. that are caregiving for a relative or friend. 42 MILLION CAREGIVERS and that’s just in the U.S.!
It is the most stressful thing I have every done. Caregivers are at great risk for depression, anxiety immunosuppression, cardiovascular disease, premature aging and many other physiological consequences as well as the toll it takes financially. I know for a fact that caregiving has had a negative affect on my own health in recent years.
Usually you become a caregiver after some family emergency has happened. You aren’t prepared, you feel lost in a sea of what do I do now. It’s scary to watch in my case, my mother, become the child while I struggle to parent my parent. It’s been heartbreaking. If it weren’t for the support of groups like AARP.org/caregiving and the community they have created with experts and other caregivers people like me wouldn’t know where to turn!
There are lots and lots of resources to be found on AARP.org/caregiving. An example of just a few of these include:
- PREPARE TO CARE (Caregiving Planning Guide For Families)
- 12 RESOURCES EVERY CAREGIVER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
- 10 TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy and deal with the rest.
I love you momma!