Recognize Our Heroes' Heroes
When we become sick or injured, there is nothing better than having someone you love or trust close by to take care of you. Often times, it's a family member that becomes the "Caregiver." Being a Caregiver means many things; providing a bowl of Chicken Soup, making sure a box of tissues is close by, or just being next to a loved one that isn't feeling so well. But defined by the "Family Caregiver Alliance”, it's anyone who provides daily assistance to someone else who is, in some degree, incapacitated. Incapacitation can mean anything that keeps you from being independent because you are sick or injured.
Challenges for Caregivers depend on the level of incapacitation. For instance, a spouse who has suffered a stroke, a father-in-law with cancer, a mother with dementia, or a son with traumatic brain injury (TBI) may need 24hr care, while the common cold, seasonal flu or broken arm may only need a few hrs a week. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute (2008), an estimated 34 to 52 million Americans provide unpaid assistance and support to an elderly person or adult with a disability. In 2007 that care was valued at an estimated $375 billion.
VA Long Beach is proud to offer "Powerful Tools for Caregivers." The following is an excerpt from the writings of Lawanna Johnson, a 55 year old disabled female Veteran who provides care for both her elderly parents.
For more information on this or any Caregiver Program, please Contact Mimi Chen at 562-826-5735.
Or for support in your community visit: http://www.caregiver.org