November is National Family Caregivers Month.
Nearly 600,000 Oklahomans 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 $6 billion annually. Kristin Mitchem has cared for her father for several years. She saysâ€¦
MITCHEM: MY FATHER HAS A MALIGNANT BRAIN TUMOR. I DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO HELP HIM STAY AT HOME â€“ CLEANING HIS FEEDING TUBE, GIVING INJECTIONS, FLUSHING HIS PIC LINE AND ADMINISTERING MEDICINE. IT ISNâ€™T EASY, BUT I WOULDNâ€™T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY.
This week, A-A-R-P launched I Heart Caregivers to collect stories like Kristinâ€™s. AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl saysâ€¦
VOSKUHL: 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 FIGHT TO GET THEM MORE SUPPORT, TRAINING, HELP AT HOME.
The organization worked to pass the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable â€“ CARE â€“ Act which takes effect in Oklahoma this month.
For more go to A-A-R-P dot org slash I Heart Caregivers.