Caregiver … the invisible responsibility

November was the National Caregivers month for 2017! Many of us have had this responsibility taking care of a loved one or in some situations more than one; probably mom, dad, a child, neighbor or a friend. Everyday compassionate people devote their time, and sometimes resources to ensure that a family member who is disabled, elderly, chronically ill (unable to perform at least two activities of daily living) or injured can remain in the stability and comfort of their familiar surroundings. There is a lot of unselfish devotion that goes into being a caregiver. We as caregivers are respecting someone’s dignity of life in all stages and this underscores the importance of a family unit. We also want to see our loved ones live a better quality of life which is measured with more independence, sense of security, and maybe the most important … peace of mind.

So what do caregivers provide? There are several services that a majority of them provide day in and day out. Some basic but very important services are meal preparation, shopping, management of finances, transportation to medical appointments, hairdressers, or just getting out, and how about just plain companionship. Coordinating medical appointments for oneself can be challenging alone but throw another individual or individual’s appointments needs in the mix, it can be very complex; plus other healthcare issues. Caregivers are not 9 to 5. They must often be available around the clock.

There are times when a caregiver must forgo or postpone priorities in their lives. And some

caregivers through love, endure emotional, physical, burn-out, and yes sometimes financial strains for the sake of another. We must remember our caregiver’s every day! There are many programs available that can assist caregivers allowing them to navigate through some very trying times. So if you are caregiver I want to say thank you for what you do for a loved one.