November Named National Family Caregivers Month

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Move aside, pilgrims. November, the month that hosts our nation’s holiday for giving thanks, has fittingly been named National Family Caregivers Month by the White House.

Recognizing the Important Work Family Caregivers Do Each Day

This month we’re breaking bread, and honoring the family members who balance work and life to care for family, friends, and neighbors in need. In his 2023 address, President Biden said: “This week, we recognize the love and sacrifice of millions of American caregivers. They are the backbone of our country, caring for young children, aging parents, disabled veterans, injured service members, and others who need support and medical assistance. Let us celebrate and honor our caregivers and renew our efforts to protect their dignity, health, and security. Because when we care for our caregivers, we honor our American ideals and move closer to a future where no one in this Nation is left behind.”

Family caregivers help their loved ones with everything from bathing to getting dressed, cooking meals, grocery shopping, and driving to appointments. These caregivers also do it all for free — a contribution AARP estimates is worth $600 billion (2021, “Valuing the Invaluable series”). Plus, they’re juggling their own lives, work, and families.

With family caregivers in mind, President Biden issued an Executive Order in April 2023 launching new programs to provide support for care workers and family caregivers.

Take Care to Give Care

This year’s theme, “Take care to give care,” is focusing on the fact that America’s 40 million caregivers must take care of themselves first. Those who give so much often forget to think about themselves, and in turn can let their own health, and mental health, slip.

The Midland Reporter says a National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Mature Market Institute study reported 20% of employed female caregivers over 50 reported symptoms of depression, compared to 8% of women who are not caregivers. These statistics highlighting the importance of taking care to give care.

Do you know a family caregiver who deserves recognition this month? Tell us about them here in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and any caregivers you know.

(This article has been updated since it originally published in November, 2016.)

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