February 17 is National Caregivers Day and as I researched statistics and thoughts on those unsung heroes in our lives, a beautiful story of caregiving appeared as if on cue. This story is from David, Cheryl’s husband, as he holds her close in her Alzheimers journey. My words and statistics could never say what he says; he is living and breathing the life of a caregiver.
Cheryl’s daughter, Wendy, is a friend and fellow end of life doula. With Wendy’s permission, I give you this link to David story. Please take a few minutes to read this article and get a peek into life as a caregiver.
Many caregivers are unpaid; some are family members, friends, and neighbors with little or no training. Some caregivers are grandchildren looking after a grandparent and many times, it is the other way around – the grandparent is caring for the grandchild. Many caregivers find immense joy in making someone’s life a little easier. There are caregivers who are exhausted but don’t know when to take a break. Some will take on the role of caregiver because they feel it is their duty – a family or cultural expectation. Many caregivers are paid and bring the same love and compassion as they would to their own family members.
The National Alliance for Caregiving is working tirelessly to find a path “…to support the nation’s 53 million family caregivers, who make up 21% of the population.” https://www.caregiving.org/just-released-the-first-ever-national-strategy-to-support-family-caregivers/
Thank you to the millions of caregivers in our country. Thank you for your patience and compassion. We are aware that you sacrifice a lot in your personal life, not just your time but financial resources as well.
Remember to find some time to rest, to refresh, and to realize you are doing important work. Thank you.