November is National Family Caregivers Month. Every day, more than 44 million family members, friends and volunteers devote time, energy, and resources in providing assistance and care. When asked about caregiving, most people immediately think of an older relative who receives care at an assisted living facility or nursing home and no longer lives at home. But often the term refers to one actually giving the care such as the parent of a child with special needs, the spouse of a wounded soldier, or the adult child of a parent diagnosed with MS, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s.
Caregiving is exhausting, both physically and emotionally, and a spousal caregiver has the …
additional burden of experiencing a strained relationship. Last year I attended a caregivers’ retreat where the participants shared their stories of caring for a loved one. I listened as many talked about their daily struggles of cleaning their loved one after an accident, taking them to doctor appointments, feeding, dressing and bathing them. Some attendees were also dealing with physical and verbal abuse by the person they were caring for. All of them shared their concerns about burnout and stress, and fear of becoming sick themselves.
Some of the reasons many of these untrained and unpaid caregivers continue to care for their loved ones include love, guilt, obligation, and even fear of what would happen if they didn’t. Thus, November is a time to honor and recognize the invaluable service of these individuals.
Are you a caregiver? What if something happened to you resulting in your need for a caregiver? Where would you want to live if you couldn’t stay in your home due to an illness or accident? Who would handle your affairs? Our Lifetime Legacy Planner is a unique product to help you answer these questions. Making your wishes known is one of the most loving and generous things you can do for your family and friends.