November is also the time across our nation for us to honor our family caregivers as well as to recognize the challenges that family caregivers face and how they manage these challenges day and night as they offer care around the clock!
There is just so much that our family caregivers do! For many of you, caregiving can truly be a 24 hours a day, seven days a week job. You have many other roles besides giving your loved one hands-on care (which is a huge role in itself). I sat down as I began to write this article and tried to come up with a list of all that you do. It seems never-ending. There is the ‘big stuff’ like:
- Managing medical care, insurance claims, and bill payments.
- Managing the ever-changing medications.
- Going with the patient to doctor appointments, running personal errands, cooking, cleaning, and doing other housekeeping chores.
- Finding doctors and specialists, and accessing information that may be hard to find.
- Learning about any new symptoms or side effects and asking for help to treat them.
- Helping your loved one not only communicate with the medical team but also helping them to connect with family, friends, neighbors, and community members.
- Your job also includes giving emotional and spiritual support, such as helping your loved one deal with feelings and making hard decisions while all along being a companion to your loved one.
- And OTHER “big stuff” like maintaining your home, your life, your family life, your work, your sanity, and your health! It is never-ending.
Honestly, I got a bit of a headache trying to list all the things that just came to the top of my mind in remembering all that you do!!! Let’s face it. ALL of your roles are dealing with ‘big stuff’. You face challenges day and night…EVERY day and night. Caregivers, you are a mighty healing force in our world and in the life of your loved one.
So….please hear this: we deeply respect and honor you. During the month of November, we join with others around our country to recognize your enormous contribution as a caregiver. You are vitally important
THANK YOU for all you are and all you do!
Lucretia Hurley-Browning, MDiv, MS, is a guest writer whose recent background includes Chaplain of Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital and the Director of Juniper Tree Counseling Center. She is a therapist and ordained United Methodist Minister. Currently she is a writer by day, a reader by night, and is passionate about living life meaningfully with a good dose of fun.