Here are Letters to the Editor for Nov. 10, 2016.
Take care to give care
As a member of the Washington State Council on Aging, I am writing this letter because November is National Family Caregivers Month. The theme for 2016 is “Take Care to GiveCare.”
Caregiving deserves our attention, as a human and financial concern. Over 900,000 Washington State citizens serve as unpaid family caregivers. According to data from the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services, uncompensated, informal caregiving is estimated to be valued at $10.6 billion. These unpaid caregivers lose about $300,000 in salary and benefits in their lifetime; many having minimal financial resources to begin with.
Caregiving can be rewarding, but also physically and emotionally demanding. The stress of dealing with caregiving responsibilities leads to a higher risk of health issues among the Nation’s 90 million family caregivers. A significant objective of our care network should be to assist family caregivers – something as simple as a bit of time to care for self in the form of respite activities can make all the difference. Caregivers are giving their help, and need our help as well.
Each year, more of us are caring for a loved one with a chronic condition, disability or the frailties of old age. During National Family Caregivers Month, we must remember that to be strong enough to care for your loved one, you must Take Care to Give Care!
State Council On Aging