National Caregiver Appreciation Month Honors Care Providers in America

Caregiver

Barack Obama designated November as National Family Caregivers Appreciation Month in 2014. The month is set aside for Americans to celebrate those who are caring for family members, friends, and neighbors, according to Home Health Care News, on Nov. 15, 2020. Caregivers are the cornerstone of society.

Caretakers’ duties and responsibilities consist of companionship, transporting clients to and from appointments, errands, and activities. They also assist patients with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of living (IADLs). They both represent helping people with life tasks that will allow them to live at home and potentially become independent.

CaregiverDifficulties with ADLs and IADLs often relates to how much help and supervision an individual needs. Many learned self-care tasks at a young age like walking, feeding, dressing, grooming, toileting, bathing, and transferring sometimes become hard to manage for some people. When ADLs and IADLs become difficult to manage, many people hire a caretaker, or their family or friends take responsibility.

New Documentary Highlights Caregivers of Color

The documentary ” Sky Blossom: Diaries of the Next Greatest Generation” shows young people ranging from 12 to 26 who are caregivers for veterans with disabilities. It aired on Veteran’s Day, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. AMC Theaters and Universal Pictures allowed free screening for one day across the United States.

The film’s title comes from the phrase ” here comes the sky blossom,” which troops used when they received aid from paratroopers. One out of four caregivers are millennials, and more than half are Pacific Islanders, Asian American, Hispanic, or Black. Richard Lui, the first-time director, created an intergenerational film that resonates with teens and also the older generations.

Lui, an award-winning  MSNBC news anchor, is a caretaker to his disabled father. His father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He was inspired by his own experience to create a documentary that gives people an insight into the lives of military children nationwide.

He searched for young people from various regions, cultures, and different races. The featured families in the “sky blossom” are the Kapanuis, who is Native Hawaiian from Hawaii, the Griers, who is Black from Pennsylvania, the Allens, who is Native American from Tennessee, the Ploofs, who is White from Michigan, and the Alvarados, who is Latino from California.

We are all different and deal with things in various ways, but we are all very similar. We seem to be living in very diverse times right now, and I wanted to show that through their stories, Lui said.

These are not stories you’re going to see play out often, I’m grateful that we get to tell them, he said.

Caregivers In The United States in 2020

In 2015, there were 43.5 million caregivers. The numbers have increased to 53.0 million according to AARP in November 2020. The United States must support and acknowledge caregivers as the cornerstone of society.

More than one in five Americans are caregivers — about 21.3 percent as of May.

  • Forty-eight million caregivers care for someone over the age of 18.
  • About 19 percent provide care to an adult with health or functional needs, unpaid.
  • Twenty-four percent more Americans are caring for more than one person.
  • Twenty-six percent of caregivers have difficulty coordinating care.
  • Twenty-six percent more Americans care for someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, up 22 percent more than in 2015.
  • Twenty-three percent of caregiver health worsen after taking the responsibility of loved ones.

Family members of all ages play a major role in taking care of disabled family members, including Boomers, Gen-X, Gen-Z Millennials, and the Silent generation.

Nursing Homes Fatalities Account for Two-Thirds of Pennsylvania Coronavirus-Related Deaths

Nursing homes deaths account for two-third of all coronavirus related deaths in Pennsylvania. During the coronavirus pandemic at a long-term health facility, four residents passed away hours apart, and 70 of their 180-bed unit residents died in less than a month between April and May.

A caregiver name Ellen Glunt recalled seeing an older couple celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary at a window; the husband was ill.

A nursing director, Bob Lohoefer in Philadelphia, had flashbacks of working in the trauma rooms. He has almost 40 years of experience. He is very frustrated with the way the government handled the coronavirus and his own organization’s bureaucracy.

Written by Jessica Letcher
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

NBC News: New documentary highlights young veteran caregivers of color; Saloni Gajjar
The New York Times: Caregivers have witnessed the virus’s pain. How will they vote?; Matt Stevens
AARP: Caregiving in the United States 2020

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Washington State Dept of Transportation’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Flickr Susanjanegolding’s  Page Creative – Commons License

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