ks National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the 40 million Americans –more than 1.3 from Georgia – who help older parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently at home, where they want to be. The unpaid care they provide – managing medications, cooking meals, driving to appointments, performing complex medical tasks and more – is valued at about $14 billion in Georgia alone.
Sherleen Rew from Sharpsburg is one of these unsung heroes. She says, “I try to look on the bright side of it.” Sherleen says she stays positive and finds the humor in life.
AARP Georgia will recognize Rew with a Portrait of Care, an artist’s painting of her and her loved one. Randomly selected through AARP’s storytelling initiative, I Heart Caregivers (aarp.org/iheartcaregivers), Rew is one of 53 family caregivers from every state, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands receiving a hand-painted portrait. Thousands have shared their stories on the site.
“We want to celebrate family caregivers, spotlight their experiences of hope, love, dedication and perseverance, and elevate their stories – especially during National Family Caregivers Month,” said Tobias Tillmon, Interim State Director for AARP Georgia, which serves over 1 million Georgians age 50 and older. “This is especially important as we work to support family caregivers through public policy, education, outreach, and other efforts.”