Leadership Corner:  Connect with Others While Building a Safety Net of Helpers

By Katheryn Howell, Sr. Director of Community Programs

Across the United States, in 2023, an estimated 38 million people, about 11.5% of the population, are taking care of loved ones. That care will total nearly 36 billion hours with a value of nearly $600 billion. (source:  Valuing the Invaluable 2023, AARP Public Policy Institute)

That’s why every November, as a nation, we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month. While caregivers should be celebrated every day, this is a time to recognize and honor caregivers nationally, raise awareness around caregiving issues, educate communities, and work to increase support for our nation’s caregivers.

For National Family Caregivers Month 2023, the #CaregiversConnect campaign from the Caregiver Action Network highlights the importance of connections. #CaregiversConnect is about connecting your role as a family caregiver when you find out your co-worker is caring for a neighbor with the same rare disease as your aunt or the woman sitting next to you at the synagogue is also caring for aging parents.

When caregivers connect, whether it’s for support, to get information, or just to talk to someone who understands what you’re going through, it can help you feel less isolated. You are not alone. As you connect with folks in your community this month, I encourage you to stretch your “help muscle.”

Do you like giving help, and are you comfortable receiving help? Are you comfortable asking for help or asking for help for others? These are good questions to explore as you consider what might be needed to plan well for your future and for those you love. Build a safety net of helpers you learn to tap into during times of need. For more on Personal Safety Nets and to learn how to strengthen your ability to help and get more comfortable being on the receiving end of help, visit https://personalsafetynets.org/.

Please call Island Senior Resources to learn more about our Family Caregiver Support Program and other programs and services in your area that might ease your burden and help you find joy in your caregiver journey. 360.321.1600

I’m a caregiver, and I’m caring for my parents. #CaregiversConnect.