In Warrior of the Week, we celebrate the strength and courage of people. The spotlight this week is for those people that take care of our needs before their own. The caregivers. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, any relatives that take care of another relative and also the ones for hire. Yes, all of them deserve recognition.
It’s hard to take care of someone that is not well. All those special needs required and that they give with love. They are always there, next to your side. Holding your hand. Maybe you need lots of help or you may need a little help, either way, these selfless people are there to help.
Being a caregiver is a great deal and the responsibility is paramount. That is why being a caregiver takes courage. If you are living with a condition or disease, you know how hard is to live with it on a daily basis. Your caregiver feels the same. They see and feel your struggles as their own. They get tired too, but guess what? They stay next to you regardless.
They, indeed, are selfless. Their love and care make our days better. Superheroes dressed in everyday clothes.
Who can be a caregiver?
Anyone. At one point in life, we have taken care of someone. Often, the care provided is without pay. You can take care of your elder parents, your children, other relatives that need help. It can be a simple help as grocery shopping or more complex help as medical treatment. The help can be provided at their home or the caregiver’s home. It can be live-in or by visits.
Did you Know?
About 44 million Americans provide 37 billion hours of unpaid, “informal” care each year for adult family members and friends with chronic illnesses or conditions that prevent them from handling daily activities such as bathing, managing medications or preparing meals on their own. Family caregivers, particularly women, provide over 75% of caregiving support in the United States. In 2007, the estimated economic value of family caregivers’ unpaid contributions was at least $375 billion, which is how much it would cost to replace that care with paid services. *
Caregiving can have an impact on their physical, emotional and mental health when the care is given for a long period of time and is a time demanding one. It is called caregiver burnout. Also, there’s an economic and work conflict, since most of the caregiving is informal and given by family members. Putting pressure on the family finances and may cause loss of a job or less formal working hours.
Anyone can be a caregiver, but caregiving is not for everyone. You have to have empathy and total willingness to do it. Accepting the responsibility of taking care of another person, being there to aid them and also being there for themselves is a task of true love.
As said before, a caregiver is a selfless person. For this reason, we celebrate them. Thank a caregiver today and make sure they know that their work is appreciated.
* AARP – Valuing the Invaluable 2015 Update: Undeniable Progress, but Big Gaps Remain