More than 65 million people in the United States provide care for chronically ill, disabled or aged family members or friends during any given year.
Those 65 million people spend 20 hours a week providing that care.
That care is valued at $375 bilion a year, which is almost twice as much as is spent on homecare and nursing home services combined.
(Source: The National Family Caregiver Association)
November is National Family Caregivers Month! This was first named as an official presidential proclamation in 1997 by former President Clinton. Every president since, Republican and Democrat alike, have issued this annual proclamation appreciating family caregivers.
“The theme for this month of November is BELIEVE in yourself… PROTECT your health…. REACH OUT for help. month there is a special emphasis on the need for all of us to help family caregivers protect their health in order to have a more satisfying life and be better able to provide their loved one with the best care possible.” (Family Caregiving 101)
As one who has been caregiving for my own father off and on over the past year, I know first hand the importance of this job. I also know the support that is needed for these caregivers, as many of them put their own health at risk to care for their loved one/s. There are many factors that come into play on this topic and raising AWARENESS about the vital roles these caregivers fulfill is extremely important. When caregiving for someone with a brain tumor there are many factors to consider. The spouse and/or loved ones are also severely impacted by the disease/brain tumor. A family caregiver may find that their caregiving extends beyond the patient to his or her spouse and extended family members as well.
Additionally, caregivers of brain tumor/cancer patients are often dealing with sorting through information on Clinical Trials, new advances in brain tumor treatment, and weighing the benefits of these treatment options for their loved one. This can lead to extended travel needs to Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment Centers and bring up financial and emotional stresses for the patient as well as the caregiver. This is where the Chris Elliott Fund can help! We can help patients/families and caregivers with these plans and connect them with doctors from these Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment Centers to review MRI’s, records, etc…
From The National Family Caregivers Association / www.thefamilycaregiver.org, “Day in and day out, more than 65 milllion family caregivers in this country fulfill a vital role on the care team. No one else is in a better position to ensure continuity of care. Family caregivers are the most familiar with their care recipients’ medicine regimen; they are the most knowledgeable about the treatment regimen; and they understand best the dietary and exercise regimen.
I have stayed involved with my own father’s treatment and care since the day he was diagnosed. He has been in and out of the hospital for surgery, treatments, rehab, etc… as well as now residing in an Assisted Living Facility. I spend a great deal of follow-up time with the nurses, aides, and staff ensuring that my father’s needs are met and he is safe.
The emotional and physical stress is a major factor that goes hand in hand with this vitally important job. During this month and throughout the year we can all be reminded of the kindness and perserverance of the family caregivers. This month we celebrate, support, educate, and empower family caregivers.
Here is a list of resources for caregivers and their families to reach out to for support and education:
-The National Family Caregiver Association: www.thefamilycaregiver.org
-Family Caregiving 101: www.familycaregiving101.org
-Right at Home: www.caringnews.com
-Strength for Caring: www.strengthforcaring.com
Family Caregivers DO matter and we want to make sure that all of these caregivers are receiving the support, education, and care for themselves that they need. If you are a caregiver and are seeking help with a loved one who is fighting a brain tumor, please contact us toll free at #1-800-574-5703 or email us at WeCare@EndBrainCancer.com .