November is National Family Caregivers Month.
More than 1.7 million Virginians 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 $11.7 billion annually. Andy Butler has cared for his wife Jill for 18 years. He saysâ€¦
BULTER: MY WIFE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH MS IN 1996. I DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO HELP HER STAY AT HOME â€“ SHE IS COMPLETELY BEDRIDDEN AND NEEDS HELP WITH ALL OF HER TASKS OF DAILY LIVING â€“ EATING, BATHING, DRESSING AND MEDICAL CARE. 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 Andyâ€™s. AARP Virginia Advocacy Director David DeBiasi saysâ€¦
DeBIASI: OUR SILENT ARMY OF FAMILY CAREGIVERS HELPS THEIR LOVED ONES 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.
AARP Virginia will work to pass the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable â€“ CARE â€“ Act in the next legislative session.
For more go to A-A-R-P dot org slash I Heart Caregivers.