“Without informal caregivers, our health and social systems would crumble, and yet they are largely going unrecognized”
Scott Williams was diagnosed with Lyme disease as a child and recovered thanks to his father’s invaluable role of a caregiver. After that experience he started to recognize informal caregivers and the enormous challenges they face.
As a long distance caregiver himself to his mother, he understands the importance and demands on a caregiver. They provide emotional support, manage finances and deal with household and medical tasks. They are involved in all personal as well as medical care.
There are approximately 100 million unpaid caregivers across Europe who are the backbone of healthcare. If family caregivers were not involved, the health and social systems would fail. Caregivers or carers, face numerous challenges in their career, family and health and well-being as a result of their caregiving responsibilities.
“The importance and demands on family caregivers are greater than ever…carers all over the world are sacrificing their own physical, financial and psycho-social well being to provide care for their loved ones”
Though family caregivers are slowly being recognized, there is so much more that still needs to be done. Caregivers need to be empowered to bring about a balance in their lives. With an aging population and increased lifestyle diseases, informal care will continue to increase in importance. It is time for corporate to become caregiver-friendly and healthcare systems need to start recognizing these invisible unpaid carers.
If you can identify with this story, please share it with others who care for someone and help them share too. The feeling of understanding, not being alone and access to support is what keeps caregivers going.
Sharing your story helps understand yourself — feelings, passions, hopes. It lightens the load and offers relief from loneliness, anxiety, anger or guilt. Our experiences and hopes can benefit others – to know that the challenges are the same, learn new ways to cope and care… they aren’t alone but part of a team.
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