A $470 billion dollars was the result of unpaid services in 2013, exceeding the value of paid home care and total Medicaid. Right in the ballpark of the Wal-Mart sales of 477 billion. [AARP Public Policy Institute. (2015). Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.]
Approximately 43.5 million caregivers provided unpaid care to an adult or child within 12 months in 2015. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015)
Helping someone with daily needs. Look out for the most common status: Overwhelmed. For years we have overseen the value and lack of incentive for caregivers within all households. Going through a healing process due to illness, injury or disability is not a one-person task, this is surrounded by individuals that facilitate our recovery and sustainability. We are all bound to become a person in need of care or a provider without even been prepared.
Regardless of the process that you require recovery off, the focus will be mainly placed on the individual suffering the illness. But as a primary rule of survival, just as when you hear the flight attendant on every aircraft, one must place the breathing mask on ourselves before helping others.
How do we assure and support caregivers for the wellbeing of those in recovery? Recognizing their status is very important, providing incentives and motivation could be one.
Caregivers asking for help will reflect on the care provided to your loved one. Part of being taken care of is the feeling of guilt, having help for providing assistance can reattribute a sense of relief to the person in recovery. Making time for yourself is always overseen, but crucial to providing the best support.
In our South Florida community, we encounter many exemplary individuals that look after their loved ones. According to Family Caregiver Alliance *Upwards of 75% of all caregivers are female, and may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than males. [Institute on Aging. (2016). Read How IOA Views Aging in America.] As women supporting women the Association of Women in Communications South Florida (AWCSF), promotes awareness towards this service.
One association looking into this matter and focusing on the 5.5 million caregivers caring for former or current military personnel in the U.S* and stressing the fact that 9 in 10 caregivers of veterans are female and 70% provide care to their spouse or partner is One Life to Live Foundation.
Increased stress or anxiety, sleep deprivation are only a few of the issues they look to support women with. Daphnee Uter, Pamela Black, Yolanda Brown and Arie Lewis former veterans honorably discharged have set their minds on giving back to the support system that allowed them to adapt to their civilian lives. As each gathers different serving stories that affected their well being and families, who they wish to recognize and assure that all caregivers for veterans are supported.
The Association of Women in Communications South Florida will continue to deploy efforts towards our caregivers and their recognition for the wellbeing of their loved ones.
*(1.1 million post 9/11). [Ramchand, R., Tanielian, T., Fisher, M., Vaughan, C., Trail, T., Batka, C., Voorhies, P., Robbins, M., Robinson, E., & Ghosh-Dastidar, B. (2014). Key Facts and Statistics from the RAND Military Caregivers Study.]
One Life to Live Foundation
One Life to Live Foundation, 501(3)C non-profit organization founded in 2019 by Daphnee Uter, Pamela Black, Yolanda Brown and Arie Lewis. Four Women Veterans, realized that most Women Veterans were underserved and caregivers, in general, tend to neglect themselves as they care for others. Understanding the unique needs of Veterans and their caregivers, the Founders decided they needed to be a source of support for positive change among this demographic. A day of respite and retreat to refocus on the individual needs. To learn about self-care and gain a better understanding of what our body requires to maintain a healthy lifestyle is just what caregivers and Women Veterans need. The goal is to raise awareness about Woman Veterans and support caregivers’ Wounded Warriors. For more info: onelifetolivefoundation.com