Two Harbors area caregivers honored
By: Kirsten Cruikshank, director, Community Partners, Lake County News Chronicle
Each day in America, over 65 million family caregivers are providing care for chronically ill, disabled, or aging family members and friends. With the increase in the aging population in America, increasing numbers of older adults are living in the community longer with the help of their family and friends.
On Nov. 27, in honor of National Family Caregiver’s Month, Community Partners of Two Harbors held a special dinner in recognition of family caregivers at Black Woods Restaurant. A highlight of the event was the recognition program when twenty-two family caregivers were presented with “Caregiver of the Year” Awards. The event also included musical performances from Two Harbors High school students.
About 78% of older adults living in the community rely on family and friends as their only source of help. This care can be as simple as picking up groceries, shoveling snow, or giving a ride to an appointment, but it can include the more complicated tasks of setting up medications, helping with bathing and dressing, and providing around the clock care. Even with the number of family caregivers, few people identify themselves as caregivers. This can mean that people who are caregiving are not aware of the resources available to them.
The balance of life, work, and caregiving can take a toll on the caregiver. It is important that caregivers take care of themselves and understand that it’s okay to ask for help.
Community Partners encourages caregivers to seek out and accept assistance.. Resources are available to help family caregivers to balance their caregiving roles. Discover local resources by calling the Community Partners Living at Home Program in Two Harbors (834-8024) or North Shore Area Partners Living at Home Program in Silver Bay (226-3635), or call the Senior Linkage Line (1-800-333-2433)
As part of Community Partners efforts to raise caregiving awareness, Mayor Randy Bolen signed a proclamation declaring November 2012 National Family Caregiver month in the town of Two Harbors.