Across Vermont unsung heroes care for parents, spouses, aunts, uncles, friends, and other loved ones – helping them stay at home, with dignity, as they age. This silent army helps with bathing and dressing, transportation, meal preparation, and even complicated medical tasks like wound care and medication management. They are family caregivers.
AARP recently launched a new initiative called I Heart Caregivers to recognize and honor family caregivers who givetheir hearts each and every day; to share their stories; and, to raise their voices.
Here’s what a few family caregivers had to say:
“I cared for my mother, Clarice for 22 months in 2007-2008. She lived at home until breaking a hip and after surgery she went to rehab and then her failure to thrive and increasing dementia required a move to a nursing facility. The stress on her and the rest of our family in the nursing home situation, propelled my action of moving her to my home.”
“I was 25 years old. Seven heart attacks, four stents, a stroke, several falls and an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis later, I realize my caregiving story is close to 20 years old. I relocated from Washington DC, after 14 years there, to Florida to be closer to my older brother and sister. Mom and dad, who we kids lovingly refer to as The Show, moved into my home in Tallahassee, in order to save money … and sanity.”
As you share your stories through I Heart Caregivers, you can also help fight for commonsense solutions to better support family caregivers and your loved ones. Solutions like:
- The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act to support caregivers as their loved ones go into the hospital and as they return home
- Caregiver employee leave so family caregivers don’t have to worry about losing their pay – or losing their jobs – when they have to take time off to care for a loved one
- “Respite care” that allows family caregivers to take a hard-earned break
- Making sure caregivers have access to the right resources in the community, like home care and adult day care
- Cutting through the red tape and allowing nurses to have the full authority to heal
- Helping family caregivers navigate financial challenges by making sure power of attorney and adult guardianship laws are consistent and honored from state to state
Let’s shine a light on family caregivers in [State] and all [we/they] do. Every family caregiver has a story. What’s your