26 November 2012|
Many of us have just returned from spending the Thanksgiving holiday with our families. Often, those families include caregivers—people who've dedicated their money, time and energy to taking care of elderly or ill loved ones. These caregivers provide an important service, but all too frequently their contributions are overlooked. This holiday season, consider taking some time to reach out to thank and support the caregivers in your life. And if you're a caregiver yourself, don't forget to take advantage of the resources that are available to help make your job a bit easier.
Who Are Family Caregivers?
There are more than 66 million family caregivers in the United States, according to the National Care Planning Council. They are friends, partners, children or other relatives who provide support for people who aren't able to live independently, perhaps because of Alzheimer's disease, a disability, cancer or other long-term illness. On average, caregivers spend 20 hours per week taking care of their loved ones, and they are often not compensated for their efforts. Women are more likely to be caregivers than men.