Caregiver Appreciation Day, a November 13 holiday, is a very important day. It gives recognition to the tens of millions of Americans, who selflessly give their time to care for those who are ill, disabled, or elderly.
Many individuals and organizations have declared a caregiver recognition day on many different dates. The most common of them is November 13, and March 3. We give the nod to November 13, as November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month.
This day of recognition is for both paid and unpaid caregivers. We believe unpaid caregivers, deserve even more special recognition. They silently go about the task of supporting someone in need, most often a family member. They give their time freely and often spend their own money in doing so. It can be a thankless task….. without even thanks from the person being cared for or from relatives who find countless reasons not to help.
Some interesting statistics:
- 29% of the U.S. population, some 65 million Americans are caregivers in some way. This is an astonishing number.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over 40 million Americans, age 15 or older, provide unpaid care to the elderly alone.
- Nearly one in five Americans are providing care to an older adult, such as a parent.
- Many people providing care find themselves in a situation with little training or support. The good news is that there are supportive services that will help caregivers adjust and find resources.
- Caregivers are most likely to be women. Women, particularly women of color, make up a large portion of caregivers today—often while simultaneously caring for children. According to estimates, 65 percent of the millions of caregivers in the United States are women, while 35 percent are males.
- Caregiving takes a toll on finances and livelihoods. According to the Family Caregiving Institute, caregivers devote a great deal of time to their role, with 76 percent spending more than 40 hours per week caregiving. Despite these heavy demands, 70 percent received no paid help.