November is National Family Caregivers Month.
Almost 200,000 Mainers care for aging parents and spouses who want to stay at home, instead of in costly institutions. These family caregivers provide unpaid services valued at about $2.3 billion annually.
Erica Magnus has been caring for her mother for eight years. She saysâ€¦
MAGNUS: AT 91, MY MOTHER HAS CRIPPLING ARTHRITIS AND MANY OTHER HEALTH CONCERNS. I DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO KEEP HER AT HOME â€“ I BATH AND DRESS HER, PREPARE ALL HER MEALS, MANAGE HER MEDICATIONS, TAKE HER TO APPOINTMENTS AND DO ALL HER SHOPPING. IT ISNâ€™T EASY, BUT THIS IS WHAT Iâ€™VE ALWAYS BELIEVED FAMILY DOES FOR FAMILY.
This week, A-A-R-P launched I Heart Caregivers to collect stories like Ericaâ€™s. AARP Maine Executive Council member Rich Livingston says:
LIVINGSTON: OUR SILENT ARMY OF FAMILY CAREGIVERS HELPS SENIORS TO LIVE INDEPENDENTLY, WITH DIGNITY, EACH AND EVERY DAY. WE WANT TO HONOR THESE UNSUNG HEROES â€“ WHILE AT THE SAME TIME FIGHTING TO GET THEM MORE SUPPORT, TRAINING, AND HELP AT HOME.
For more go to A-A-R-P dot org slash I Heart Caregivers.