**Post written by Jenn Park, author of JennUnplugged.com**
Across the country 42 million people, primarily women, between the ages 40 – 60 are faced with the challenge of providing care to their older loved ones each and every day. They may not know it, but they are caregivers, and they play an extraordinary role in supporting those we love.
Are you or someone you know a caregiver for your parents? It can be a tough but rewarding job. It can also feel good knowing you were able to be the one taking care of them.
When my grandparents were living, my mother was the one to take care of them. Night and day. It was incredibly taxing on her. It was a lot of stress across the board, honestly. I am glad my grandparents did not have to be in a nursing home. I know my mother had their best interest at heart. It was tiresome, fulfilling around the clock care. My grandfather was confined to his wheelchair when he wasn’t in bed due to health complications. My grandmother had dementia. To say that left almost no time for my mother to take care of herself or get a moment of peace would almost be an understatement.
Like many women, my mother thought she could do it all. Looking in from the outside, I could tell you that was certainly not the case. Try as she might, it just wasn’t happening. She finally got some help with resources for my grandparents thankfully. I don’t think she would change a thing since it was her mother and father. The upcoming recognition of Father’s Day on Sunday, June 15th has made me think of my grandpa (and grandma too!). Others may not reach out for the help they need for themselves and the loved ones they are caring for.
Take a moment this Father’s Day to say thanks! Go to ThanksProject.com and send your thanks to that special caregiver in a message! Your message and image may appear on the board of appreciation!
New research from AARP suggests that caregiving can take a tremendous toll on a caregiver’s personal health and general wellbeing. And yet, many caregivers do not self-identify as such and can be reluctant to ask for help. You can check out AARP’s resources for yourself or pass the website along to any caregivers you may know. Check out what others have to say about this on social media channels by following the hashtag #thanksproject. You can also check out ThanksProject.org