Back in 2014, through a presidential proclamation, President Barack Obama designated November as National Family Caregivers Month. At that time, he encouraged all Americans to pay tribute to those providing for the health and wellbeing of family members, friends and neighbors.
An excerpt from the proclamation states:
“Each day, courageous individuals step forward to help care for family members in need, their quiet acts of selflessness and sacrifice telling a story of love and devotion. Across our country, parents and children, siblings and spouses, friends and neighbors heroically give of themselves to support those in their lives affected by illness, injury or disability. During National Family Caregivers Month, we salute the people who play difficult and exhausting roles, and we recommit to lifting up these Americans as they care for their loved ones while protecting their dignity and individuality.” –Barak Obama
On Nov. 15, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will observe AKA National Family Caregivers Day, which is an opportunity to care for those individuals who often place the needs of family members and others before their own. A caregiver helps another person with daily grooming, medical and/or physical care, and/or finance management due to advanced age, disease, mental disorders or disability.
Caregivers are usually unpaid family members. According to a 2015 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, almost 44 million Americans serve as caregivers to adults or children, and according to the Institute on Aging, 75 percent of caregivers are female, and most work outside the home.
This “Impact Day” on Nov. 15 will enable the sorority to highlight its collective impact on AKA communities across the country. The Sigma Theta Omega Chapter in the St. Thomas-St. John District will be collecting towels and blankets for donation to the V.I. Department of Health.
Other things that can be done to show our appreciation: provide a day of rest for someone you know who provides care for a loved one; offer to clean up a caregiver’s home (or pay for a cleaning service), and/or provide dinner for a caregiving family.
“We want to show our concern and love to our caregivers. Many caregivers are stressed out and feel isolated due to expectations. Caregiver Syndrome is real, and the impact is significant. Let us do our part to help and show we care,” said Lucille Parsons, president of Sigma Theta Omega Chapter.
For more information, contact Lucille Parsons at 626-4241 or Elisa Hodge, public relations officer, at 771-5332 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.