‘Their voices are so important to be heard:’ November marks a time to honor caregivers across the nation

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — This month is a time that caregivers across the world are getting some much-needed recognition. The Alzheimer’s Association describes it as ‘National Family Caregivers Month.’

Caregivers for those dealing with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have been described as unsung heroes. Now, this month helps to shine a light on the work really being done.

“We want to make sure that we spread the word about the impact that they have and caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia,” said Lisa Roberts the Executive Director for the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

When it comes to spreading the word about this group, November marks the time to do so. This month is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month.

“Their voices are so important to be heard because the caregivers typically put everyone in front of themselves,” said Roberts.

Lisa Roberts is the Executive Director for the Eastern North Carolina chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She says this month it’s imperative they spread information on these caregivers’ impacts, as it has an astronomical impact on the nation and worldwide.

“So we’re looking at over 11 million Americans who are caregivers out of that, that includes 358,000, just in North Carolina alone, and they’re providing unpaid care for their loved ones,” said Roberts. “The value of the nation is about 257 billion and North Carolina alone. It is looking at over 517 million hours of unpaid care.”

When asked how you can help these caregivers out, well through something called respite care.

“If you have a couple of hours during the week, maybe you offer to sit with their loved one. So the caregivers can do their errands, so they know that they’re safe while they’re away from their loved ones. That right there, just giving the caregivers respite is just huge,” said Roberts.

Roberts explains there are many mental and physical struggles these caregivers go through as sometimes they tend to ignore their own warning signs coming from their bodies.

Nationwide these caregivers provide care that adds up to over a 250 billion dollar impact. That economic impact translates to over 517 million hours of unpaid care as well.

In terms of respite care, some Medicare plans will also offer up to five days of coverage for caregivers to be able to take a much-needed break.

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