There are a lot of heroes who have helped America get through the COVID-19 pandemic. The actions of hospital staff, first responders and so many more have made a difference in so many lives.
However, there are a number of other heroes who do not wear capes, who do not have notoriety, who also make a huge difference in their loved one’s life. These are unpaid family caregivers. At Easterseals, they are heroes.
November is National Family Caregivers month. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are more than 53 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. One of the greatest needs of these caregivers is information about services and programs in their community which may be helpful to them as a caregiver for children or adults with disabilities, chronic or terminal illness, or the elderly.
Easterseals, like many organizations, has had to make many adjustments to adapt to life during COVID, and that includes using innovative ways to meet the needs of the families they serve. Easterseals Community Outreach Program has risen to the occasion to help caregivers navigate through these uncharted times. This includes caregivers like Emory who cares for his wife of 37 years, Tish, after experiencing a debilitating stroke.
The COP staff has been checking in with families and offering guidance. Their case managers have been providing necessary resources to caregivers, including a COVID-specific resource page. Caregiver support groups and monthly workshops continue to be offered, only now via a virtual platform so caregivers can continue to connect. The staff also attends webinars and virtual meetings to stay as informed as possible to field questions from families.
Serving caregivers, like Karen and Anthony who are raising their two grandsons, is part of Easterseals’ mission and that holds true throughout the pandemic. As they could attest, caregiving is rewarding, but can be an exhausting job, especially when the caregiver does not get time to recharge. Respite is an option through Easterseals Respite Programs, which provide funds to support family caregivers providing care to a person of any age or disability, to take a temporary break from caregiving.
For more information, contact Easterseals Caregiver Resource Center at 302-221-2087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easterseals is known for innovative services and while that has certainly been tested during the pandemic, one thing remains clear. Easterseals is there for family caregivers in all kinds of circumstances and will be for years to come.