Although it is sometimes difficult to realize, especially in recent months, the season for unity, compassion and togetherness is upon us. With this past November being an election month, cause for stress for many, it is the time of year for recognizing the good.
If there is one thing we all need in the coming months, it is to take care of one another. Fortunately, November is National Caregivers Appreciation Month. This very important occasion honors the efforts of tens of millions of Americans who selflessly care for others. These are the millions of compassionate people in our communities not only giving their time, but their heart each day in order to ensure others feel loved and are cared for with dignity.
There are many types of caregivers amongst us. In fact, according to National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, there were approximately 43.5 million caregivers providing unpaid care in the U.S. today.
It is difficult to fathom, but many of these people accept the task of caring for a loved one unexpectedly. This can be an unpredictable financial burden. Additionally, caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care, such as, performing medical and nursing tasks and helping with daily living activities (i.e., personal hygiene, dressing and undressing, getting in and out of bed). They also assist with instrumental activities of daily living (i.e., taking prescribed medications, shopping for groceries, transportation, using technology). A caregivers’ job is never done.
The truth is, you never know when you may have to lean on the kindness of others, or when others will require the same from you. However, when you take the time to realize it, showing gratitude for all of the wonderful people in your life is truly priceless. This month, with those we love and care for near, be it literally or metaphorically, it has never been more obvious that there are millions (or more) reasons to be thankful.