November has been recognized as National Family Caregivers Month since 1994. In President Biden’s official proclamation, he said, “during National Family Caregivers Month, we honor the Americans who lift up our communities and our nation by providing dignified, professional, and invaluable care to the people we cherish the most.”
Exploring the Challenges Faced by Caregivers
During this month it is important to celebrate family caregivers as well as raise awareness for the issues they face. In 2022 the Alzheimer’s Association reported that “more than 11 million caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias provided an estimated 18 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $339.5 billion.”
Over one-third of all caregivers are children of a parent with Alzheimer’s or dementia. In 41% of households, the caregiver is the main source of income, making $50,000 or less annually. Total lifetime costs for the care of a loved one with dementia is estimated at $392,874 and is projected to rise.
The financial burden of caregiving is not the only thing that plagues family caregivers. Many caregivers have been known to develop or show worsening symptoms of anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, and other inflictions. Stress and burnout are very common among the caregiving community.
Quick Links to Caregiver Resources:
- What Are the Most Important Duties of a Dementia Caregiver?
- 15 Ideas for Dementia Caregivers to Get Respite
- Stress Relief for Caregivers
- 4 Ways You Can Help Connect a Caregiver to Respite Care
- Supplementing Your Income as a Caregiver
- Contact – Dementia Resource Center
Ways to Show Appreciation and Support for Caregivers
There are numerous ways to show appreciation and support for caregivers during National Caregiver Month and throughout the year. Some ideas include:
– Expressing gratitude through heartfelt thank-you notes or messages
– Offering to provide respite care to give caregivers a break
– Helping with daily tasks or errands
– Connecting caregivers with local resources and support groups
By actively showing appreciation and support for caregivers, we can make a positive impact on their well-being and let them know that their efforts are valued.