November is National Family Caregivers Month.
More than 1.2 million Arizonans care for aging parents and spouses who want to stay at home, instead of costly institutions. These family caregivers provide unpaid services valued at about 9.4 billion dollars annually.
Over the years, Virginia Brant of Phoenix has been the primary caregiver for several members of her family as well as personal friends.
BRANT: I HAVE BEEN A CAREGIVER FOR MY HUSBAND, MY MOTHER AND MY COUSIN AS WELL AS SOME VERY CLOSE DEAR FRIENDS. I HELPED THEM WITH EVERYTHING FROM BATHING, DRESSING, WOUND CARE, AND PREPARING THEIR MEALS. I ALSO GAVE THEM THEIR MEDICATIONS AND MONITORED THEIR DIETS TO HELP THEM STAY LIVING INDEPENDENTLY AT HOME. IT WASNâ€™T EASY, BUT I WOULDNâ€™T HAVE HAD IT ANY OTHER WAY.
This week, A-A-R-P launched I Heart Caregivers to collect stories like Virginiaâ€™s. Cynthia Fagyas with AARP Arizona saysâ€¦
FAGYAS: OUR SILENT ARMY OF FAMILY CAREGIVERS HELPS SENIORS LIVE INDEPENDENTLY WITH DIGNITY EACH AND EVERY DAY. WE WANT TO HONOR THESE UNSUNG HEROES WHILE AT THE SAME TIME WORKING TO GET THEM MORE SUPPORT, TRAINING, AND HELP AT HOME.
For more go to A-A-R-P dot org slash I Heart Caregivers.