The beginning of tNovember also brings the start of National Family Caregivers Month. This is an annual commemoration taking place each November. This month celebrates the 53 million Americans who are unpaid caregivers to family, friends, and neighbors. Caregiving can mean making significant changes to the other parts of your life, such as work or social activities. By recognizing the efforts of these caregivers, we hope to help support them in their journey.
November is National Family Caregivers Month
While it’s impossible to keep track of every person who provides caregiving in a given year, it’s estimated that over 50 million Americans participate in caregiving each year. Nearly half of those are over the age of 50, meaning the added stresses caused by caregiving can have an impact on their own health as well.
There’s often a lack of understanding when it comes to the challenges that caretakers face. Even if they’re only spending an hour per day on caregiving activities, that’s still a significant portion of their day that can’t be spent on anything else. While it’s possible that this hour could be replacing activities like watching television, it’s more likely that people will sacrifice things like cooking healthy meals or going to the gym. As stresses add up more and more, people’s ability to consistently choose good habits significantly decreases. Finding the right resources to help with caregiving can make the difference between a balanced, happy life and one of constant sacrifice.
The White House put out a presidential proclamation on this year’s National Family Caregiver Month. Click here to read the full statement, but we’ve compiled some of the highlights below:
- “Today, far too many Americans find themselves sandwiched between the enormous tasks of supporting aging parents, raising young children, and earning a living. Others bear the responsibility of caring for loved ones with a disability or looking after wounded, ill, or injured service members and veterans who have sacrificed so much for us all. The truth is, at some point in our lives, each of us will likely need to be a family caregiver — but the burden falls especially hard on those who cannot afford support.”
- “No one should have to choose between a paycheck and looking after a loved one.”
- “Family caregivers are the backbone of our Nation’s long-term care system, doing essential work with devotion, often at great emotional and financial cost. We owe them. It is time to bring their service out of the shadows and celebrate and support them in living their own happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.”