The month of November is National Family Caregiver Month – when we recognize the 90 million family caregivers in the U.S. today.
Chicagoland Methodist Senior Services (CMSS) is proud to have gotten to know many of you who selflessly dedicate your time, energy, and attention to caring for your loved ones. You play such a significant role in the lives of those you care for – including those of you that receive assistance from outside sources such as home caregivers. You’re also an important part of the equation when it comes to planning care provided by CMSS: the coordination between you and the CMSS staff is vital in properly caring for your loved ones.
Despite the fact that you provide so much, you rarely receive the recognition that you deserve. AARP estimates that the economic value of the unpaid contributions of family caregivers in 2009 alone to be $450 billion – with a staggering 39% of U.S. adults acting as a caregiver to an adult or child with significant health issues. With close to half of American adults acting as family caregivers, it is crucial for us to recognize and support the work that you do.
We know that you often juggle the care you provide for your loved ones with your employment, children, social lives, and your own health. As the Caregiver Action Network explains, “managing medications, providing wound care, and operating specialized medical equipment” are just a few of the many important tasks that you must carefully execute. In additional to the medical care you provide, you also offer something equally important: love and companionship. The mental health benefits that you provide for your loved ones is too often far understated and undervalued.
To all of the family caregivers who so graciously provide compassionate care and support to their loved ones: thank you so much for all that you do.
-Everyone at Chicagoland Methodist Senior Services