Celebrated every November, National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. L.A. Care Health Plan honors caregivers within our community by taking a moment to listen and learn from their personal stories in hopes to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers.
More importantly, we celebrate the Caregiver And the person they are outside of their role as caregiver. Many caregivers are mothers, fathers, social workers, filmmakers, social activists, avid bikers, gardening enthusiasts, and more. They have deep passions and interests even though their loudest label may be "caregiver."
It's estimated that around 53 million Americans are caregiving for friends and family members. That is one in five Americans and the numbers are increasing as the nation cares for an aging population also managing the aftermath of COVID-19. Unfortunately, research also reveals that the health of caregivers is worsening when compared to previous studies.
As evidenced in the caregiver pictures and stories below, there is joy, humor, and love found in caregiving. But there are also hard days that may bring guilt, sadness, and bone-tired fatigue. Caregiving is complicated. Caregiving can be a lot. We encourage caregivers and the community around them to seek resources, professional help when needed, and to take time for one's own self-care.
L.A. Care is sharing caregiver stories so that we can learn from each other and give each other support. It is important that caregivers share their stories and their realities of how they balance their own wellness while serving others. As bestselling author, Joan Didion writes, "we tell ourselves stories in order to live." We hope that you'll find strength, inspiration and comfort as you carry on in your greatly appreciated caregiving role. And if you are reading this and are not a caregiver, please reach out to a caregiver in your circle and tell them, "thank you, and please take care of yourself."