November is National Family Caregivers Month—a month to extend random acts of kindness to those who care for the health and well being of others. According to the current issue of AARP magazine, almost 17 percent of Americans provide unpaid care to an adult, 18% of caregivers take care of two or more adults, and 13% of caregivers are assisting a friend or neighbor. Two million Americans are caring for their own adult children, 56% of caregivers work full time, and 40% of caregivers are men. One fourth of care recipients have problems with memory as in dementia or Alzheimer’s, and, 7% of caregivers live more than 2 hours from the person they help. If these providers were paid this would cost $450 billion a year. It takes a spouse an average of 44 hours a week to take care of a sick spouse.
This November we are being asked to help the caregivers of America—something we can do in so many ways: Put gas in a caregiver’s car, do a load of laundry, bring a cooked meal, do some household chores, mow the lawn, rake the leaves, wash the car, bring a bag of groceries, give a gift, do an item or a “to-do” list, take out the trash, give them a hug, give them some cash. The list of ways we can help caregivers is endless. Start by “walking in their shoes” so you can start to appreciate all the hard, often unrewarded, work that caregivers do.
Let’s celebrate caregivers this November with random acts of kindness.
Copyright 2015 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.