Who's Taking Care of You?

It is 5:30 a.m.  Your alarm won’t go off for another 30 minutes, but you’re already awake and planning the day ahead.  The voice in your head goes something like this:

Why are Dad’s feet swollen?  What time is his cardiologist appointment again?  10:30. I have a meeting at 10:30.  Did I ask Kelly to cover for me?  I need to text her and remind her about the meeting.  Cole has a field trip.  Did I even fill out the permission slip?  Madison has a volleyball game.  Oh shoot.  I have to do concessions during the game.  What about Dad.  What will he eat for dinner?  How am I going to get him dinner when I have to do concessions?  Why does my head hurt?
They call it the sandwich generation.  Sandwiched between taking care of your kids and an elderly parent. 
Or maybe you’re retired and taking care of your husband, who hasn’t been the same since his stroke last May.
Or are you lying awake thinking about your sister, who lives five hours away?  She needs a new insulin pump but doesn’t drive anymore and can’t get to her medical appointments.  You need to take some leave from work so you can get down there and take care of her.  
So…who is taking care of you?
Probably nobody, and that’s a problem.  
There are more than 40 million family caregivers like you in the U.S.  About one-third have a full-time job, and 25 percent work part time.   A third provide more than 21 hours of care per week.  The economic value of their care is estimated at $470 billion a year. 
Does that surprise you?  You’re more valuable than you know!
But caregivers like you are also among the most stressed - suffering from emotional and physical strain - and more likely to get sick.
There’s a reason the flight attendants tell you to put the mask on yourself first.  You can’t take care of someone you love if you’re not healthy enough yourself.
Let us help. November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to celebrate and encourage you in your journey. 
Join the Caregiver Coalition on Tuesday, Nov. 13th from 9am-11am for Caregiver Cafe at Home Instead Senior Care in Harrisonburg, 600 University Blvd - Suite G. Live music, refreshments, information, conversation, and a time to relax! Contact Kathy to let her know you're coming.
Can you swing a Wednesday morning out? Join us for VPAS Presents: Caregiver's Corner - Resources and Self-Care to Enrich Lives.  Enjoy a scone, some coffee and beautiful custom glasswork during the workshop at Braithwaite Studios.
Click here for other resources that can help you manage the workload and put you on the path to wellness.