Family caregivers are being recognized. There are signs that their voices will continue to be heard.
After nearly two decades of promoting the virtues of family caregivers, we are so very gratified that the role of the caregiver is finally coming into the spotlight. As we begin National Family Caregivers Month, we are more hopeful than ever before that family members will be recognized both for the compassion of their service and for the value they create for our healthcare system.
In 2018, Congress has passed bipartisan legislation—the RAISE Act—to create a strategy for family caregivers and the Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Health and Human Services has been formed. Leaders in state government continue to pass family leave bills to help caregivers find work-life balance. And CEO’s of Fortune 100 companies are brainstorming new approaches to support employee-caregivers in the workplace. At Seniorlink, we are gratified by this increased awareness and humbled to continue our commitment to fight for 44 million of our fellow Americans.
For the past four years, Seniorlink has honored family caregivers during the month of November. Our annual “Thank a Caregiver” campaign has reached families throughout the country.
This year, several families have given us permission to share their heroic caregiving stories. You’ll hear about a mom, Shirley, who cares for her daughter who lost the use of both of her legs in a devastating train accident. Shirley tells us a story about the power of love and hope.
You’ll meet Liz O’Donnell who took care of her aging parents and then had to turn to be the caregiver for her husband who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and ultimately passed away from the disease. This is a story of persevering love and the unrelenting role of caregiving for family in need.
You will encounter the bravery of a veteran who became a paraplegic serving his country and also suffers from PTSD. This is a story about a soldier and a dad, his daughters as caregivers and love that is boundless.
The word “hero” means “a person who is admired for courage or noble qualities.” We will introduce you to these (and other) amazing caregiver heroes among us. We suspect that their stories will move you as they have all of us.
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter put it best when she said:
There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers and those who will need a caregiver.
Please adopt our custom profile image, aka our “Twibbon,” as I have. Visit this link and follow the on-site instructions to add our #ThankACaregiver Twibbon to your profile: https://twibbon.com/Support/thank-a-caregiver-2019
Family caregiving is where commitment, compassion and unbridled love join to undertake the most challenging job any of us will ever face. We invite you to listen to the stories about the heroes among us and join us in promoting this just cause.