Friday, November 4, 2011

November- National Family Caregivers Month

Rosalyn Carter said it best: “There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers”.

On November 01, 2011 Barack Obama declared the month of November the National Family Caregivers Month and sent a press release acknowledging the care and support provided by unpaid family and friends.

The National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) provides a wealth of information and support services to family caregivers. While many family caregivers go unsupported or unrecognized for that matter, the care they give is staggering when actually acknowledged.

The following stats were taken from the NFCA website:

  • ·         40% to 70% of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression with approximately a quarter to half of these caregivers meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression. Zarit, S. (2006). Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Research Perspective
  • ·         More than 1 in 10 (11%) of family caregivers report that caregiving has caused their physical health to deteriorate. How Do Family Caregivers Fare? A Closer Look at their Experiences. Center on Aging Society. 2005.
  • 78% of adults living in the community and in need of long-term care depend on family and friends as their only source of help. Thompson, L. Long-term care: support for family caregivers. 2004 
  • The value of the services family caregivers provide for "free," when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion).  Evercare Survey of the Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Family Caregiving;
    National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. March 2009  

 If you are a caregiver, do something wonderful for yourself this month. Don't forget the importance of self care and of making yourself a priority. If you know a care giver or have been the lucky recipient of care from another, take the time to share your appreciation with them.


  1. Hi-- Thanks for writing the blog. We have incredibly similar stories. My husband is 43 years with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Many friends felt that our relationship would limit my life. Ha! We are incredibly happy and engaged in so many things. Busy life-- especially with booth of us working full time and sharing like with Kathy, Mike's service monkey.

  2. Hi Donna, Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story! I'm always glad to meet other like minded folks who are also enjoying life and showing that disability doesn't have to mean inability. Hope to hear from you again sometime :)

  3. Hi Carolyn,

    I have a quick question for you regarding your blog, but I couldn't find your contact information. Do you think you could send me an email whenever you get a chance?