Today is "National Family Caregiver Day". Caregiving for a loved one whether through love or obligation or a bit of both is undeniably one of the most difficult 'jobs' on the planet and likely the most under-appreciated as well. Newswire.ca has a post today indicating that "...working caregivers...represent 6.1 million Canadians juggling personal commitments, care duties and work responsibilities. Wow - staggering numbers that will only increase in coming years as our number of elderly grow. The more caregivers I speak with, the more I come to understand that as difficult as caring for someone else is, it can also be a tremendously rewarding experience for all parties. I think that until one experiences it, there is no true way to really understand the toll caregiving can take on a person, their relationships and their job.
Another snippet from newswire.ca today "In 2011 alone, caregivers provided the economic value of or about 230,000 full-time jobs. They also experience high levels of depression and other stress-related illnesses, further adding costs to the Canadian economy and health-care system." In some places, there is actually a monetary value placed on family caregiving with the award of income, small a sum as it usually is. Clearly, its not all about money though. The stress of caregiving cannot be underestimated and moving forward, it is crucial that our government, and our citizens find ways to acknowledge and support caregivers more so we can all reap the benefits of this important role now and in the future.
Caregivers are truly unsung heros. So glad we have a special day to recognize them. So wish we will offer more.