November has been all about caregivers, but what, exactly, is a caregiver? Wilder Foundation has a beautiful campaign that addresses just this: What is a Caregiver.org helps put a definition around the term caregiver. While you may think you’re just a daughter bringing mom a few groceries or just a son mowing the lawn for your aunt, you’re a caregiver. Why identify with this term?
Over 90% of all long-term care for older adults is provided by family and friends and yet as few as 19% call themselves a caregiver. When you claim the role and title of ‘caregiver,’ you soon tune into the resources and support available to you.
Journalist Jonathan Rauch said to me, “Do not try to hide from this. Do not try to do this on your own.” You can’t plan when you’re going to become a caregiver, but you can prepare for this role. By 2030, the 65+ population is projected to be twice as large as it was in 2000, growing from 35 million to 72 million. Chances are high that you will care for someone in your lifetime. Now is the time to educate yourself about the role of a caregiver.