By Ruth W. Sanders
Jackson Advocate Guest Writer
Every November is dedicated to honoring caregivers. This year’s theme is “Caregiving Happens.” Caregiving is one of the hardest jobs that an individual will ever have. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people in the United States with Alzheimer’s is projected to double to 14 million by the year 2060, more than twice the number of people with the disease now. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are the principal reasons individuals require caregivers/care partners. Some other reasons care partners/caregivers are needed: individuals returning from the military with visible and invisible scaring, disabled adult children, and chronic illnesses.
Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady, made a profound statement that is quite relevant to caregivers today. There are four types of caregivers: past caregivers, current caregivers, future caregivers, and someone will care for you. Rosalyn Carter has recently been diagnosed with dementia. If you know someone who is caring for a loved one or friend during this month, try to provide some form of respite to the individual. This assistance, no matter how little, would be very appreciated. We as a society should bring more awareness to this growing problem.
Ruth W. Sanders, MSN, CNS, RN Community Advocate is the author of “My Parent My Child: Love Conquers All.”