In this season of fun and love, I am reflecting on all of the wonderful caregivers I know and have worked with, and the ones they love and care for so well.
Morris County has been the national leader in organizing and supporting caregivers. Almost 33% of the population of the US are caring for a disabled, ill, or Alzheimer’s sufferer. The United Way has funded this 10-year effort, and the benefits to families are incalculable.
Since Elder Law is an ever-increasing part of my law practice, here is what I ‘ve learned.
*Our older and disabled loved ones most often spend the bulk of their days alone.
* Loneliness is a leading cause of mental decline and often physical decline.
* Quite often, in our busy days we forget these most vulnerable friends.
* Often afraid to ask for help, they can have many hidden needs, most very simple, but small services make a huge difference in their lives.
* The caregivers suffer physical and mental pain often from the solitary task this nurturing can be.
My biggest hope is that as word of the growing need to share the care gets passed along, we can include these loved ones in our parties, in our joy, all through the year, recognizing that special arrangements and accommodations may need to be provided.
In my practice, I have noticed that the amazing joy I find is all mine when I invite these lovely people into my life. Check out the Caregivers Coalition at http://www.unitedwaynnj.org/.
Peace and blessings for the holiday season and the new year!