I love being a grownup. The freedom to do what I want when I want is totally worth having lived those awkward high school years. Each year, I feel like I’m growing more into myself, and I feel really grateful to be alive and healthy. The only downside to being an adult and getting adding years to my age, is that the people I love are getting older, too. My mom and dad, my in-laws, they’re in great shape (thank God!), but there might come a time in a few years where they aren’t able to get around like they do now. They might have to look to Terrence and me for a little extra support. If that time does comes, I’ll be a willing caregiver, working hard to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible.
Being a caregiver is tough work. I witnessed my friend, David, serving his elderly father for years until his father passed. David worked tirelessly day and night to ensure his father’s every want and need were taken care of. A good amount of the time, his father’s comfort were a result of sacrifices that David made. If you were to talk to David today, though, he’d tell you that he’d do it all again.Watching how much he had to do on a daily basis to provide for his father was fascinating, and I was incredibly impressed by David’s long-term compassion and care for his father.
There are about 42 million people ages 40 – 60 across the country who are caregivers for an older loved one. AARP has found that many caregivers can be reluctant to ask for help when it comes to their own healthy and wellbeing. They’ve created the Caregiver Assistance campaign to provide tools and experts to help them manage their own needs while caring for the needs of their loved ones. If you’re a caregiver, bookmark the site, and take some time to check out all of the resources.
And don’t forget to take of yourself, too. By doing that, you’ll ensure that you’re around for your loved one. They need you.
This Father’s Day, if you’re a caregiver, you can sign on to The Thanks Project and publicly recognize your loved one. A digital tapestry of appreciation will be created, and will represent the 42 million caregivers across the country.