Caregiving: Acknowledge and Honor!
“There are four kinds of people in this world: Those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” – Former first lady Rosalynn Carter
Clearly caregiving is a major issue and it impacts the majority of Americans today. According to the National Alliance on Caregiving, there are an estimated 67 million caregivers in the United States. Of this number, 4 million care for children, while 50 million care for adults, and 13 million care for both children and adults. Caregivers tend to be mainly women (66%), with an average age of 48. About one third of caregivers take care of more than two people, and 86 percent care for a family member. The value of the services family caregivers provide for "free," when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion).
According to AARP and the National Alliance on Caregiving, the state of Nevada has more than 532,000 informal caregivers, and the value of informal caregiving in Nevada is said to be roughly $4 billion. In addition to the informal family caregiving, there are many caregivers that get paid. In fact, as the baby boomers become elders and acquire chronic illnesses, many more caregivers are in demand.
The Northern Nevada Caregiver Coalition which was formed over 12 years ago by Diane Ross and myself, among others, has developed the Caregiver Awards Luncheon. This affair occurs in November which is recognized as National Caregiver’s Month. On November 22, 1997, former President Clinton signed the first presidential proclamation in recognition of National Family Caregivers Week. Since 1997, every president has issued an annual proclamation appreciating family caregivers. What better way to honor our own caregivers and to do it in the national caregiver’s month.
Caregivers are acknowledged and honored at the Awards Luncheon which had 270 attendees and 95 honorees in seven different categories. All of the 95 caregivers are acknowledged and honored, but in each category we recognized a special person that went above and beyond. Here are those very special honorees in each category:
- Family Caregiver: Robbie Hibbs
- Caregiver for a Veteran: Arlynn Tramble
- In-home Paid Caregiver: Greg Patroulis
- In-facility Caregiver: Delia Vargas
- Volunteer Hospice or Community Caregiver: Judy Humphrey
- Dual Life Caregiver: Julie Ornelas
- Caregiver for Youth with Special Needs: Steffi Vandever