Unfortunately, that optimism is in short supply for the millions of sick, disabled, and elderly Americans in need of care – and for the caregivers themselves. Being a caregiver is difficult and often thankless. Yet, the role is so critical to our society that many different groups have declared a Caregiver Appreciation Day in attempts to ensure caregivers’ efforts are recognized. One of the days chosen is March 3.
A quick look at the data reveals it’s highly likely that you or someone you know is a caregiver. Whether informal (typically a loved one who volunteers) or formal (paid providers), the burden is heavy:
- Approximately 43.5 million provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months.
- Approximately 34.2 million provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months.
- Approximately 39.8 million provide care to adults with a disability or illness.
- Approximately 15.7 million adult family caregivers provide care for someone who has dementia (Alzheimer’s disease or other).
- Nearly 1 in 4 family caregivers spends 41 hours or more per week providing care. The average time spent is 24.4 hours per week.
- While the average duration of a caregiver’s role is 4 years, almost one-quarter provide care for more than 5 years.
- The value of services provided by unpaid caregivers has been steadily increasing and had an estimated economic value of $470 billion in 2013.
- Informal caregivers report that their caregiving responsibilities reduce the positive activities in their daily lives by 27.2%.
These numbers are proof that there are many reliable individuals dedicated to providing quality care, despite the impact it may make on their own lives. That’s sufficient reason to set aside some time to acknowledge them and the difference they make to so many.
- Saying “thank you”
- Sending a note of gratitude or recognition
- Giving them a gift card to a place or experience they enjoy
- Giving them the day off by stepping up and taking over their duties.
With so many horror stories in the news about the abuse and neglect suffered by the sick and elderly, it’s extra important to appreciate trustworthy caregivers who assist with daily living duties, medical treatment, and even hospice care. It takes someone special who can kindly and effectively help another navigate personal tasks such as food preparation, shopping, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, feeding, dressing, bathing, medicating, and getting in or out of bed.
If you have had a bad experience with a caregiver or if you any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the personal injury attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm. We have years of experience helping people, and we can help you. Our knowledgeable legal team will work closely with you every step of the way. Based in Pikeville, KY, we proudly serve communities throughout the Bluegrass State. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, contact us by calling 1-606-433-0682 or filling out our online form.