November is National Family Caregiver Month, a time for gratitude to the 40+ million unpaid caregivers in the United States. On October 31, 2023, President Biden issued a proclamation in which he addressed what so many Americans understand from experience, “The cost of care in this country is too high, and the pay for care workers is too low. A majority of Americans struggle to find affordable, high-quality care for themselves and their loved ones. At the same time, care workers remain among the lowest-paid workers in the country, though their jobs are some of the most demanding. More than half of long-term care employees and nearly 20 percent of childcare workers leave their jobs every year. As a result, many Americans are forced to leave their own jobs behind to care for their loved ones.”
In efforts to bridge the gaps in services, Biden signed The American Rescue Plan, pumping $145 million into the National Family Caregiver Support Program deliver counseling, training, and short-term relief to family caregivers and other informal care providers.
At ASPEN (Abuse Support & Prevention Education Network) staff can attest to the demands of unpaid caregiving and how those stressors can affect relationships. For many older adults in our communities, raising children while also taking care of aging parents contributes to the daily grind of maintaining a career and household. As Biden phrased it, “No one should have to choose between the parents who raised them, the loved ones who depend on them, or the paycheck they rely on to care for their families.”
ASPEN (Abuse Support &Prevention Education Network) helps advocate for victims of
domestic violence including elderly folks who may need information about what abuse by a caregiver can look like. Conversely, if you need support to prevent acting out violently of those you provide care for, ASPEN advocates are just a call away. If you or someone
you know needs assistance, contact ASPEN’s free, confidential phone support service,
available 24/7 every day and night of the year at 406-222-8154. We are here to help!