Caring for the caregivers

Adri's Adventures

My grandparents have always been near and dear to my heart. I spent parts of my childhood summers in southwest Minnesota on my mom’s parents’ farm. I also spent many nights and weekends at my dad’s parents, who conveniently lived ten minutes away from me.

Growing up, all four grandparents would come to school concerts, birthdays and holidays. We would share meals, work together and simply enjoy each others company. Simply put, we were always close.

As I got older, I started realizing that they were aging. My father’s parents, who were both well over 80 by the time I hit high school, began needing more assistance. When it got to the point that they needed to move to an assisted living facility it hit me and my family harder than I thought it would. I’ll be honest, it kind of broke my heart seeing them lose a form of their independence.

Thankfully, the people who cared for them there were wonderful.

My mom’s father was diagnosed with prostate cancer the summer before my senior year of college. Every visit home meant a second visit to the hospital. Although it was awful seeing my grandpa go through it, I know it meant the world to my family to see the nurses take such amazing and attentive care of him throughout his illness.

Unfortunately, we lost him six months later. Yet once again, we were given comfort by the same nurses who were by his side day after day.

I’m sure many readers can relate to placing their loved ones in the care of others to help improve their quality of life. It can be trying, exhausting and can even take an emotional toll on everyone involved.

Thankfully, there are people with compassionate hearts who have been called to care for individuals who need assistance. Whether it’s rehab after an accident or living and medical assistance, without these caregivers, we would be lost.

As today is National Caregivers Day, I thought it was only fitting to shine a spotlight on the caregivers in our community.

National Caregivers Day was founded by Providers Association for Home Health & Hospice Agencies (PAHHHA) in 2015. Its first observance was just two years ago in 2016.

Across the nation dedicated health care professionals serve those who require long-term or hospice care. National Caregivers Day honors those men and women dedicated to providing these vital services.

Caregivers deliver a variety of services from personal care to medical services with compassion and professionalism. Their days are often long and demanding, but they provide support to those who need it most.

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, use the hashtag #NationalCaregiversDay and send shout out to a caregiver who has had an impact on you or a loved one’s life.

To all those who dedicate their time and efforts to serving others, thank you.

May we all take the time to look past our own needs and strive to meet the needs of those around us.

In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”