National Family Caregivers Month started out as a weeklong celebration during the Thanksgiving holiday and has grown to encompass the entire month of November while gaining a following nationwide. National Family Caregivers Month was created as a time to thank, support, educate and empower family caregivers, an ever-growing role as our nation’s elderly population ages. With over 65 million family caregivers in the United States, it’s a topic that many people are personally affected by.
According to the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) President and CEO Suzanne Mintz, the ongoing theme for this year’s message is Identifying Family Caregivers. This initiative addresses the fact that despite the enormous responsibilities and taxing duties of family caregivers, they are practically invisible in our healthcare system. Currently, there is no spot on patient medical intake forms to signify whether or not someone is or has a family caregiver, even though it is highly likely. Without this information, the role of the family caregiver is essentially disregarded. Suzanne suggests being proactive when filling out the forms—make a notation that you’re a primary care provider right on the sheet.
To learn more about how you can help raise awareness and support toward family caregiver issues, efforts and education, check out the NFCA website here.