Monday, November 14, 2011

Caregivers: Costume-Less Superheroes

November is “National Caregiver Month”!

Out of love and devotion, over 44 million Americans commit themselves to caring for their loved ones. Their role, unpaid and often unacclaimed, is vital to the wellbeing of many of our friends and family.

Their work is nothing short of superhero. The family caregiver is tasked with balancing their professional and family life with the demands of caregiving. To do so requires no small sacrifice. And yet, our family caregivers do so with humility, abiding devotion, and without a flashy costume to flaunt their superhero status.

They’re not your prototypical spandex clad hero. They don’t tout their saving powers with bright hues. They carry on without distinguishing their caregiver status as anything extraordinary.

And yet, they are the unsung heroes of our day. Our family caregivers give greatly and serve humbly. Their loving sacrifices support the health of those they serve directly, and complete their circle of care. Family caregivers play a vital role in our healthcare system. The estimated value of family caregiver’s unpaid service in 2009 was $450 billion. Yet, what they give goes beyond what can be rendered in dollar value.

Their self-sacrificing is an inextricable element of our healthcare system, and they deserve more than our applause. Their invaluable service ensures that the aged and those suffering from chronic illness or disability have the long term care they need to live a quality, dignified life—something that cannot be matched in dollars.

This November, be sure to thank a caregiver. They don’t need a cape. Their love, compassion, and untiring service ensure our loved ones get the complete care they deserve.   

Celebrate beyond November.

In addition to a month of recognition, 2011 marks “The Year of the Family Caregiver”, a year to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP). NFCSP funded initiatives have worked over the past 10 years to increase caregiver support services and offer respite to those working tirelessly to care for those in need.

If you or someone you know is a family caregiver, rest assured a caregiver’s work does not go unnoticed. There is respite and ongoing support for the selfless service of a family caregiver. The demands are great, the work is wearying, and the life balance is difficult. Get the support you deserve.

Let this November be a caregiver’s November. To them, their daily sacrifices have become ordinary and routine. Let them know they are beyond ordinary.

Today and always, thank a caregiver!

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1 comment:

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