by Ginger McMurchie, ECM owner and Care Manager
November is National Caregiver Month- a time to honor those who care for loved ones with chronic disease or disability. Caregivers have been called heroes. I think we all envision capes, masks, and superpowers when we hear that word. But caregivers come in all forms, just in the past few months, we have received calls from a brother taking care of his sister with mental health issues, a mom who is the caregiver for her 57-year-old daughter who has Alzheimer’s disease, a son who lives overseas who cares for his father living in Sacramento. Everyone has a unique story, but all share common threads of compassion, struggle, frustration, despair, and hope.
Caregivers are our family members, friends, church members, hairdressers, physicians, and colleagues. There is no group that is spared the job of caring for their loved ones. Some do it with grace, some with salt and vinegar. For some caregiving is a solitary experience, others have the blessing of help and support from family, friends, or paid professionals.
Much like parenthood, caregivers do the best they can with the skills they have been given. It is easy to feel judged, to feel like nothing they do is right, to feel resentful that the load has been placed at their doorstep.
Let us celebrate those who make the commitment to care, who embrace the role they have been given for better or worse. Let us try to lift them up by offering support, a hug, a phone call, a meal, your precious time. Let them not be forgotten in this busy world- someday it might be you who needs the lift.