Some conversations, in the name of human decency, simply cannot take place: for instance, certain ones between a caregiver and a cared-for person. What can you possibly say to a mentally handicapped brother in law whose movements – through no fault of his own – are glacial or who fails to take his meds on schedule?
Or to a parent whose medical expenses are through the roof and whose resources are limited if not nonexistent?
Or to a spouse with dementia who keeps asking the same question over and over and over?
Instead, perhaps all you can do is …..scream?
November is National Caregivers Month. I know this is small consolation to the tens of thousands of family members who provide invaluable services and supports to their infirm parents, siblings, or other family members.
Did you know that in America caregivers provide free an estimated $450 billion annually in services to other family members? Or that family caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care? I knew it was high, but not to that extent.
In observance of Caregivers’ Month, AARP and the Ad Council created a youtube video: “Silent Scream.” Find it by searching: “Care giving: Ad Council PSA – Silent Scream.”
According to Washington Post Business Columnist Michelle Singletary, “the 32-second video captures caregivers silently screaming from the frustrations, paperwork, and money issues that come with the job of care giving.”
Oh, and check out the National Family Caregivers Association (www.nfcacares.org). It’s a goldmine of information and resources designed to make caregivers’ lives a little easier.