November is National Family Caregivers Month.
More than 770,000 South Carolinians 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 $7 billion annually. Lois DeMarino cared for her, mother for four years, she saysâ€¦
DEMARINO: CAREGIVING IS DIFFICULT. I WAS HANDLING A JOB, MANAGING A HOME AND TAKING CARE OF MY MOMâ€™S NEEDS WHICH INCLUDED DOCTOR VISITS, SHOPPING AND SPENDING TIME WITH HER. MY MOM STARTED HAVING HEALTH ISSUES IN 2006 RIGHT AFTER MY FATHER PASSED. IT REALLY TOOK A DOWNTURN IN 2009 WHEN SHE WENT ON OXYGEN. SHE DIED IN 2010. IT WASNâ€™T EASY, BUT I WOULDNâ€™T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY.â€ť
This week, A-A-R-P launched I Heart Caregivers to collect stories like Loisâ€™.
AARP South Carolina state director Teresa Arnold encourages family caregivers to share their story.
ARNOLD: CAREGIVERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA PROVIDE AN INVALUABLE SERVICE ALLOWING FAMILY MEMBERS TO REMAIN AT HOME, BUT THEY NEED OUR HELP AND SUPPORT.â€ť WE WANT TO HONOR THESE UNSUNG HEROES â€“ WHILE AT THE SAME TIME FIGHT TO GET THEM MORE SUPPORT, TRAINING, AND HELP AT HOME.
For more go to A-A-R-P dot org slash I Heart Caregivers.