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)


  1. cat h.

    Great blog here! Also your web site quite a bit up very
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  2. connie v.

    I have been my husbands caregiver since his heart attack in 2009. Is there anything I can get paid for doing this?

    • Jenna Y.

      Thanks for your question. We do not pay caregivers. However, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps!

  3. Mattie B.

    Iam very happy to know, Iam not the only one that is a caretaker, because I need more information àbout, being a caretaker and taking care of someone,,and getting paid because, I have no job and I to make sure he get to all his doctor appointments. Can you please help me get more information? Thank You

  4. mom

    this is really nice content i like it my is also health content i upload daily fresh content will you alow me to contribute on this blog my site is her comment fitness and also i cover animal health women health and many more

  5. Droidpile@Mothers D.

    Mother’s Day Weekend 2017 – Dream of every child is to be successful in life and make their parents happy. And the happiest and proudest of is Mother who wants you to achieve best in life and always reach to better heights. To read more articles about mothers day, please visit here –

  6. Joseph C.

    Hello and To it May Concern:
    I don’t know who to talk with in regards to my SSI and my retirement check. I started off in life working in the US Army, then I worked jobs it seem every wre, but now the SS check I receive is only $270.00 dollars per month and the SSI I am paid is only $13.00 dollars. I have worked hard all of my life from ( 14 ) fourteen. I am seventy – two years old now and I don’t have any saves and can not even pay my bills each month. When I pay for food, lights water bills I don’t have any money left over for anything else. Is there anything I can do now at my age to even live. I don’t get any help from anyone and I wish I could go back to work. but my health won’t allow me to work anymore. Can you tell me how I can get help from anyone? You you and may God always bless you and all other that are trying to just make it from month to month.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Mr. Causey, some individuals may be eligible to receive assistance from the state in which they live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps.

  7. Nur

    All us bloggers who are wihnsig they were closer should meet up virtually.Lots of us have gotten to know Bloggers from your side of the world from past sscs’s. It would be fun meeting together.

  8. Su

    Peace and love to all the caregivers in the world.. Love all of you!

    • Anisha

      I would love to be there, if only I could , but Dubai is a little far , Oh I just rbeemmer on the 24 I will be in England. never mind maybe on day…I will be thinking of you all I am sure that you will have a great time,if possible share some photos , so we can see you all having fun.Hugs Laura

  9. gwen

    I was a caregiver for a friend with mental illness for the last 3 yrs. I finally got him help, food stamp, health insurance, medication, a Dr. and health clinic support , an apartment in a group house and a disability court date. It took everything I had mentally, emotionally and it left me broke. 3 yrs to get this for him and I had to move in with my daughter because I could not pay my own living expenses. It should not be that hard. There should be some kind of help for caregivers while you go though all that. We applied for it but never heard back. After 3 try’s I gave up. It’s a shame how we handle these kinds of things in this country,

  10. Felix M.

    I just wanted to know if glaucoma is a disability I can put in at SSI. My doctor told me not to drive especially at night! !

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question Felix. Our Listing of Impairments describes, impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity. Remember that disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to result, end in death. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability.
      We pay disability benefits through two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you think you are disabled under our rules, you can apply for disability online.

    • Snow

      That’s a mo-erbleakdr. Great thinking!

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