Celebrated every November, National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers. This observation offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for family caregivers.
Families are the primary source of support for people with disabilities and older adults in the U.S, and we honor those who provide daily support helping family members with IDD manage their activities of daily living and helping them access the community.
Many caregivers work and also provide care, experiencing conflicts between competing responsibilities. Research indicates caregiving also takes a significant emotional, physical, and financial toll. With nearly half of all caregivers over age 50, many are vulnerable to a decline in their own health. Studies show that coordinated support services can reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress, and enable them to provide care longer, which avoids or delays the need for costly institutional care.
On Monday, the White House issued President Joe Biden’s proclamation for National Family Caregivers Month 2022, saying in part, “Family caregivers are the backbone of our Nation’s long-term care system, doing essential work with devotion, often at great emotional and financial cost. We owe them. It is time to bring their service out of the shadows and celebrate and support them in living their own happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.”
The theme for National Family Caregivers Month 2022 is #CaregivingHappens, and reflects the reality that often caregiving just happens. Caregiving happens when one is grocery shopping or in a meeting. Caregiving happens when you’re trying to get out the door to go to work. Caregiving happens when you’re busy with something else or have plans, and it happens when you least expect it.
#CaregivingHappens raises awareness of your role as a family caregiver as people realize that you may be running late because you’re picking up your child from doctors appointments, or your friend understands that you’re not avoiding them, you’re caring for your adult sibling with Autism. When caregiving happens, it’s not always convenient or expected. We understand, and we get it.
Caregiving is a tough job. This November, we remember the people who lovingly give care to and comfort the millions of disabled, elderly and ill people who are friends and loved ones.