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Celebrating National Family Caregivers Month 2013

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
11/04/13  5:55 PM PST
National Family Caregivers Month

Nearly 40% of adult Americans are caring for a loved one who is disabled, sick or elderly.  Many family caregivers perform complex daily medical tasks for their loved ones, including managing multiple medications, providing intensive wound care, operating life-supporting medical equipment, providing specialized meals and much more. We recognize and support the 90 million family caregivers in the U.S. who dedicate their lives to this labor of love.

Family Caregiving Statistics in 2013

  • 2 out of every 5 adults are family caregivers, and that number continues to grow
  • 36% percent of family caregivers are under the age of 29
  • 15 million family caregivers provide care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease
  • 1 million Americans provide in-home care to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars
  • The number of family caregivers for special needs children is increasing; nearly 1 in 6 children in the U.S. has a developmental disability, according to a 1997-2008 study by the CDC
  • Family caregivers provide $450 billion in unpaid care each year

Shield HealthCare recognizes the demanding roles and responsibilities of today’s caregivers.  Whether caring for a special needs child or an aging parent with a degenerative disease, caregivers devote themselves to a labor of love in order to meet the daily health and emotional needs of the person in their care.  Shield HealthCare  is privileged to celebrate and reward the dedicated role of caregivers with the 13th annual caregiver story contest on “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?”  The caregiver story contest runs through November 30, 2013.

For more information about National Family Caregivers Month, see the official proclamation by the President of the United States of America:

NATIONAL FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH, 2013

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Across our country, more than 60 million Americans take up the selfless and unheralded work of delivering care to seniors or people with disabilities or illnesses. The role they play in our healthcare system is one we must recognize and support. During National Family Caregivers Month, we thank these tireless heroes for the long, challenging work they perform behind closed doors and without fanfare every day, and we recommit to ensuring the well-being of their loved ones and of the caregivers themselves.

Under the Affordable Care Act, patients and caregivers can benefit from a new Medicare pilot program that helps beneficiaries negotiate the transition from hospital to home. And through new Medicaid options, States can expand access to home and community-based services. With caregivers already balancing their own needs with those of their loved ones, and in many cases caring for both young children and aging parents, our Nation’s caregivers need and deserve our support. With this in mind, local agencies work to connect individuals with options including adult day care, respite care, training programs, and caregiver support groups — all shaped with the understanding that the generous women and men who take the health of their loved ones into their hands should not suffer from the toll caregiving can take.

There is no one to whom America owes more than our ill and injured service members and veterans, and while many offer kindness and assistance, it is the caregivers who truly sustain our wounded warriors as they work toward rehabilitation or recovery. In 2010, I was proud to sign the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, which provides the caregivers of our seriously injured post-9/11 veterans with training, counseling, supportive services, and living stipends. Under this law, injured veterans’ family caregivers also receive access to health care.

Just as our loved ones celebrate with us in our moments of triumph, American families strengthen the fabric of our Nation by lifting each other up in the face of life’s greatest challenges. And as Americans put their loved ones before themselves, we must offer our appreciation and flexibility, in our healthcare system, our workplaces, and our communities. This month, as we reflect on the generosity, grace, and strength of family caregivers, we renew our commitment to matching their dedication to the health and wellness of families across our country.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2013 as National Family Caregivers Month. I encourage all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends, and neighbors.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

Comments

3 Comments

  1. Posted November 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm PST

    The stress of taking care of a loved one and coping with work and the activities of daily life affects the immune system to a point that the caregiver can die before the person she/he assists.

    Health Care Academy teaches family caregivers how to remain stress free, find time for herself/himself and all the clinical information she/he needs to know to handle the specific requirements of the medical condition of her loved one. This training will help her stay healthy and provide the best care for her family member.

    For more information go to http://www.inhomecaresolutions.com or call 877-813-5582

  2. Pamela Oliver
    Posted November 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm PST

    Yes it can feel stressful sometimes, but I rather be there for my brother than any stranger; because he can’t see or talk to tell me anything. Not to mention bed bound. Love him to much not to take care of him. He can’t help that his life has been turned upside down. Just pray for us as we go through this journey. Thank you

  3. Caring Parent
    Posted November 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm PST

    To whom it may concern:
    The love we give our medically fragile family members is yet a drop in the bucket of the love they give back to us. People say, “oh what a hard life I have…” I don’t see it that way. I have been given an opportunity to never have to join a gym to work out, I have learned patience, kindness, tolerance, understanding, and more about nutrition that I ever thought possible. And yes, I do get extremely exhausted, at the multiple hospitalizations, and all hours mentoring once my child is home, but my child is the greatest gift Spirit has ever given me to grow into a better human being.
    It would be very helpful if I had more in home support, but looking at the bright side of life I am very grateful to have been an active part of my child’s care plan. Through the research process of finding ways to sustain her delicate health I have been able to help thousands of other medically fragile children too, by working with the inpatient team. All has meaning, and each day as I sit down and sing HU to open my heart to whatever Spirit has to teach me that day I see life with new eyes.
    Caregivers do need more respite, and we are soldiers of a sort to keep up the stamina that we keep just to endure the caring process of a 24 hour shift day, but we are compassionate lovers of life and know that the care we give if often not something that can be duplicated unless they caregiver truly lives in our shoes.
    Sending love and sunshine to all my fellow caregivers. May you find the peace you deserve at least once a day, grin.

    Another caring parent

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