National Family Caregivers Month and 'Doing The Right Thing'

November is Family Caregivers Month, which recognizes the challenging work of the more than 65 million people—29 percent of the U.S. population—who provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend (according to National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP). More importantly, the campaign stresses the need for those around the caregiver to offer support... and breaks from the job, when possible.

I am not a caregiver. I'm fortunate in that my own mother fares well on her own at this point and doesn't require care. My mother-in-law does, though. Professionals in the nursing home where she resides provide her primary care. Jim's sister Sue, who lives near the home, tirelessly offers Mom the nearly daily love, care, and attention only a family member can provide—despite Sue having a full-time job and busy life of her own, needs of her own.

family caregiver

Sue is, without doubt, the hero of the family. 

I came across the following beautiful yet sad video—the first song I know of that's about Alzheimer's disease—and couldn't help but think of Sue, even though my mother-in-law hasn't been diagnosed with Alzheimer's but does have dementia. It also brought to mind the thousands of caregivers lovingly providing care and support for a parent in the grip of the dreadful disease.

"Doing The Right Thing" by the band Daughter touched my heart, made me consider how difficult Sue's task and ways I can offer her respite—the theme of the 2015 National Family Caregivers Month.


Visit the National Family Caregivers Month site to learn about this year's R.E.S.P.I.T.E. theme and ways to support the caregivers in your family—or yourself, if the role is yours.