Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Focusing on ALL our Caregivers

This month - November - is National Family Caregiver Month, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance.

The FCA estimates about 44 million family members are caregivers in the US; over 80% of all caregivers are family members, as opposed to paid caregivers.

That 80% mark is something to pay attention to, however, I think we need to recognize those who have devoted their careers to being paid caregivers. They are the nurses aids, the in-home caregivers and the other people, men and women, who support families in providing hands' on care to those who need it most. Without them many families could not continue to provide care, or would become so exhausted with their caregiving tasks that they themselves would be at risk.

The paid caregivers - the professionals - are the ones who come to work every day at low paying jobs, with little societal respect, to perform the most intimate tasks on people who often hit at them, yell at them, or verbally wish they weren't there.

These are the people that, in the structure of senior care, are at the lowest point on the staff payroll. That often, unfortunately, translates into the lowest position of respect as well.

Let's take this month to celebrate all of these individuals, too. Let's thank those who do this work for their efforts and dedication, and maybe provide them with some support in their own lives (do I hear a rallying call for MORE TRAINING?!).

If you're a family caregiver you know first hand how very hard this job is. You also know the profound gratitude one feels when a dedicated, loving professional chooses to make a difference by being a paid caregiver.

Join me in saying "thanks" this month.

No comments:

Post a Comment