Today is a special day in communities like ours: it’s Caregiver Appreciation Day. According to the National Today website, Caregiver Appreciation Day “aims to honor, appreciate, and thank the selfless caregivers who give their time and effort to care for those in need.” Willow Brook is proud to recognize and honor our care staff today. Our personal care attendants, nurses, and STNAs are at the heart of the work we do. Quite simply, Willow Brook would not be Willow Brook without them! Their commitment to our residents is second to none. Caregiving is hard, unglamorous work. It requires patience, compassion, a certain strength of spirit, and most importantly, love. Thankfully, our folks have all that, and so much more, in spades.
While Willow Brook’s caregivers are paid, we know there are tens of millions of caregivers who provide unpaid care for loved ones, and we honor and recognize them, too. The economic impact of unpaid caregivers is in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Take a look at this 2019 comprehensive report from AARP for a detailed understanding of caregiving and its impact. But what happens when these caregivers need care themselves? This article gives a great overview of the impending need for caregivers as Baby Boomers age.
Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans is a caregiver? Not only that, but the large majority (66 percent or more) of caregivers are women, and most of them provide care for a loved one as well as have a job outside the home. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of caregivers are caring for both an older adult family member and their children – this is known as the “the sandwich generation.” To learn more about the sandwich generation, check out one of our previous blog posts here.
For a great visual overview of family caregiving, we love this infographic from Vitas Healthcare:
Caregivers, we appreciate you today and every day. Thank you for the incredible work that you do, day in and day out. We pray that you seek and receive the self-care you need. God be with you as you continue this challenging, remarkable, and fulfilling task. Your work is truly invaluable.