November Caregiver

November is Family Caregiver Month

As crumbling leaves sail on crisp gusts of wind in deciduous climes and as the anticipation of the joys and challenges of the holidays grows, let’s take a moment to honor the family caregiver.

Worldwide, individuals who care for a loved-one are numerous, in the hundreds of millions. Family caregivers are the unsung heroes of exceptional, poor and mediocre health care systems across the globe. If it were not for the selfless and pragmatic work of family caregivers, it’s possible that nearly 100% of World GDP would be spent on caring for the aged and disabled.

For some, caring for a loved-one is a pleasure, albeit a pleasure that can be tinged with frustration and fatigue. For others, there is no other option than to care for a family member because the will or resources are absent from their community. No matter what the situation, it is important to remember that family caregiving is altruistic and that we all benefit from the caregiver’s work.

Family caregivers often contend with isolation, declining health, and depression. However, an optimistic word, a visit just to listen or a healthy prepared meal can go a long way to provide support to a caregiver. I hope that during this month, we all find the opportunity to reflect on how we can recognize the work, and lighten the load of family caregivers.

I’ll leave on a well-known and eloquent quotation:

“There are only four kinds of people in this world—those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who need caregivers.”

– Rosalynn Carter

My best,

Thomas


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