Retirement

Honoring and Supporting Caregivers in the Month of November

November 19, 2015 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 19, 2015

A happy senior African American couple outside a car. The man is sitting in a wheelchair and his wife is standing beside him with her arm around his shoulder.

I was supporting a friend — just doing my thing and someone told me I was a “C-A-R-E-G-I-V-E-R”.  So I was a caregiver this whole time without even realizing it and, on top of that, without realizing the challenges that people deal with when they’re really sick. Now, I’m ready to do something about this … — Marilyn

Marilyn holds a senior position in a southeastern Michigan hospital system. She is an informed health care consumer. Even with her experience, she found herself in uncharted territory when her friend was diagnosed with a serious illness. Together, they were forced to navigate through a maze of care options, settings, and medication with little information or support. Unfortunately, this is a story heard all too often.

The number of people providing “informal caregiving” is growing rapidly as baby boomers age and face the long-term, advanced illnesses that our healthcare system is not equipped to handle. Each day, about 10,000 people turn 65.

November is National Caregivers Month a time when the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care and its members recognize the acts of those selfless caregivers around the country. We reflect on how we can increase support for and awareness of them and their loved ones.

 How can you help?

  1. Recognize caregivers even though they are “doing what they always do,” as Marilyn put it. Social Security and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care recently participated in a celebration of family caregivers hosted by the Alameda County Care Alliance. The event honored 200 people as caregivers. It was quite a celebration!
  1. Encourage people, like Marilyn, who take action. She is part of a movement led by people living with advanced illnesses, their caregivers, and spiritual leaders in southeastern Michigan. On November 15, ten churches in the Southeast Michigan Alliance to Transform Advanced Care dedicated their Sunday service to caregivers.
  1. Know your resources and plan ahead. According to NPR’s Your Money and Your Life: Smart Saving Tools, almost half of working Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. Fortunately, Social Security helps the public plan for the future by providing estimated benefits with the Retirement Estimator. Social Security’s financial support provides peace of mind to millions of Americans, many of whom care for a loved one with an advanced illness.

The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care and Social Security share a vision to protect the most vulnerable individuals and ensure that they receive person-centered care that honors their dignity. The Coalition is leading the national conversation on financial concerns for those with advanced illnesses and their caregivers. In celebration of this month and the beginning of the holiday season, the Coalition asks that you join the movement and find ways to get involved or simply let caregivers know how much you appreciate their efforts.


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About the Author

Jon Broyles, Executive Director, Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC)

Jon Broyles, Executive Director, Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC)

Comments

  1. Aymard M.

    I am very happy because you informed me from time to time. Thank may God bless you

  2. valerie

    I was a care giver for my husband for over 10 years. He was in and out of nursing homes and hospitals so many times and I just couldn’t do that to him anymore. so I fixed a room for him at home so he could be with me all the time, he was so happy that it made me cry. I finally did get some help the last 9 months of his life which I was grateful for it. I didn’t mind a bit taking care of him because he was my husband and I loved him very much. H e passed away in 2006 and I still miss him and always will.

    • Mary H.

      How did you get helped where did you go to get the help?

  3. Brian l.

    Hi friends,

    I’m so much more grateful to appreciate all of you caregivers community action. It is much graceful for people to achieve love one another.

    I am very black Africa Man from Congo D. R. C. I am to being part of it caregivers community action. I am a church leader and leading 3,000 people. Please l need your help in the name of God. Please you can help me to accomplish church tools on worship tools please help me

  4. Ruth J.

    What a blessing to be able to care for my granddaughter for 23 years. The medical problems are difficult to navigate especially as we are unable to get medical insurance for her. But her smile when I come home from work is all I need to be continually blessed.

    • Chris

      Why can’t u get her help??

    • Cayden

      Essays like this are so important to brandeniog people’s horizons.

  5. Cynthia K.

    My sister stepped up to help me. I was going to be a homeless veteran. I called her she agreed but I had to move to Michigan from California. The guy I rented from found out told me I had 30 days to get out. Otherwise I had to hit the road. I love her very much. I would like to find out what I can do for her.

  6. PAULA B.

    CAREING FOR SOMEONE OUT LOVE AND JUST CARING. IS A GREAT RESPONABILTY. THINKING WHAT I CAN DO AN HOW I CAN MAKE IT BETTER FOR THEM. GIVING SO MUCH LOVE IN WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS THE BEST EVER. MOST OF ALL IT IS A LOT OF WORK THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO DO FOR THEM. GIVING AND SERVING THEN THE BEST YOU CAN DO IS A GIFT FROM GOD AND I THANK GOD FOR SUCH A BLESSING TO BE ABLE TO DO THESE THING. GOD BLESS YOU AND IF NO ONE HAS TOLD YOU I WILL SAY THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING THEIR FOR THEM.

  7. Collyn

    Sure would be nice if the gov’t would fork over a bit of cash to those of us who have given up job opportunities in order to be care givers. For thirty eight years I have done so and been able to keep my daughter off of the public dole. A little help would be nice, but apparently, we don’t qualify.

    • Judy

      Amen to that. You would think that the government would want to provide assistance to us caregivers who want to keep their parents home while allowing us to keep working. All we ask for is for a little help. It would be cheaper for them to provide us with enough money to pay for someone to come in while we work instead of having to put them in a nursing home. We nearly went broke when my mom needed someone for 6 months a few years back.

    • Kacy

      Could you write about Phsiycs so I can pass Science class?

  8. Lesia R.

    Happy Caregivers month 2 y’all out there that care, love and give there helping time 2 someone. I was a caregiver 2 my brother up 2 from 2010- Sept. 27, 2015 until he went on 2 b with the lord (R.I.P.). I what 2 thank all that care enough 2 care 4 someone. Love you guys. I pray gallery have a bless and safeven month, season and care.

  9. Saji P.

    Careing one another , that is all about life. Love one another.
    1 Corinthians 13:13

  10. Joanne W.

    Thank you for thanking those who care!

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