At 40 million strong, family caregivers are the backbone of our care system, helping parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home — where they want to be.
As the Fourth of July approaches, Americans from coast to coast are preparing for barbecues, parades and fireworks as we celebrate our country’s birthday — and our independence. At this time of year, I like to take a moment to recognize our patriots — the veterans who have fought to keep our country safe and free. I also think about another group of heroes, the family caregivers — spouses, parents, siblings, adult children and others — who care for our veterans so they can live independently at home, where they want to be.
This weekend we all had the opportunity to celebrate our fathers. As I remembered my Pop — a funny, hardworking, unselfish man — I thought about his devotion to my mom, especially during their later lives when he was her primary caregiver. He shouldered huge responsibilities that I think weighed heavily on his mind.
Even with her training as a nurse, family caregiver Joanne Davis says she doesn’t feel equipped to handle certain tasks as she cares for her husband. “I think of people who are in a situation who don’t have that sort of experience and I don’t know how they manage,” she says. And yet, nearly half of the 42 million family caregivers in America perform medical and nursing tasks to care for their loved ones. This can be managing medications, cleaning wounds or feeding tubes, giving injections and more. Most do this all with little or no training.
Actress Celeste Holm will be remembered for the convention-defying characters she inhabited so artfully - from flirtatious Ado Annie in the Broadway production of Oklahoma! in 1943, to " forthright, pert and frustrated" fashion editor Anne Dettrey in the 1947 film classic, Gentleman's Agreement.In The Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors, she's described as "a warm and clever actress, as comfortable in drama as she was in comedy . . . one of the darlings of the postwar film era."
If I needed one more reminder of what we have to celebrate on the 4 th of July, I got it last week - when the Daily Telegraph reported that Kate Middleton is required to curtsy to her husband's aunt and female cousins, unless (of course! I should have guessed!) her husband is with her. (Whether he's with her or not, she must always curtsy to the Queen and Prince Phillip, which I'm sure is every granddaughter-in-law's idea of how to adjust to a new family.)
Search AARP Blogs