Did you know that November is National Family Caregiver Month? Whether it be due to financial strain or simply the desire to care for our loved ones, more and more people are bringing their aging parents and grandparents into their homes to provide the care they need. There are as many as 90 million family caregivers in the United States today!
In my family, we don’t age graciously. We’re a rowdy bunch, and we seem to make it into our 70′s without incident…and then things go downhill. You see, Alzheimer’s runs in my family. When I say that it runs in the family, I mean that every single woman on my father’s side of the family suffered from it towards the end of their lives.
It’s a scary illness, and it’s heartbreaking to watch happen to the people that you love…but it’s even more heartbreaking when you watch their sons and daughters try to act as their caregivers.
My first experience with Alzheimer’s was when my maternal great-grandmother began showing signs of dementia. I was a young teenager, not even in the prime of my life yet, and I watched as she went from becoming easily confused but still able to live on her own in her own apartment, to moving in with my grandparents, to having to live in a nursing home.
I watched as my grandmother and grandfather tried to care for her and eventually had to place her in a nursing home, as my grandfather was disabled himself, and my grandmother wasn’t able to watch my grandmother 24 hours a day. It was just too much!
When my grandfather’s two sisters, Leona and Irene, began developing Alzheimer’s, it was equally hard to accept.
Caring for an aging loved one is not easy, and it can sometimes be a thankless job. Unlike nursing home employees, family caregivers do not get a break, or a day off – they even have to be on guard during the night!
In honor of National Family Caregiver Month, ThanksProject.org has created a way for us to say THANK YOU.
It’s as easy as typing out a simple message of thanks to someone who has devoted themselves to being the caregiver to a family member. Why don’t you visit the ThanksProject.org website and give a little thanks?
In honor of National Family Caregiver Month, I am hosting a great giveaway – this would make an excellent gift to a family caregiver in your life! A gift of relaxation? What better way to say “Thanks?”