Since 1997, November has been designated by presidential proclamation as “National Family Caregivers” month. In recognition of the work that over 90 million people in the United States do 24/7 caring for a loved one. As caregivers for more than 28 years, my wife, myself, and our other two sons experienced the challenges and the joys that caring for a child with special needs brings to a family.
Caring for someone you love isn’t a burden, but it is hard work. I, for one, am grateful that the work being done by many of our fellow citizens is being recognized this month. They go about their tasks without complaining and without any compensation, other than the love they receive from those they care for. In our case, it was our son with special needs, but so many others are busy caring for a parent that is aging, or a spouse that has need of extra care.
The work that family caregivers do is exhausting. They put in many hours: organizing medications, planning, and going to doctor appointments, ensuring that their loved one’s needs are being met. All the while, juggling jobs and their own household responsibilities. Even if their loved one is in a care facility of some type, the stress of making sure they are cared for can be overwhelming. They truly are the unsung heroes of our day. From time to time you may notice them out in the community doing the work, but for the most part, you would never notice them as they go about their day.
So this month, if you have an opportunity, tell a family caregiver “thank you” for the labor of love that they do. We all must realize that at some point in time we will probably be in their shoes, caring for someone we love.
Below is the link to the 2020 Presidential proclamation honoring Family Caregivers.
God bless the Family Caregivers!!!