I wish I could say that my mother’s experiences don’t echo those of 45 percent of family caregivers in Ohio who juggle the stress of their own lives along with the responsibilities of caring for their loved ones. Unfortunately, I can’t. And unpaid family caregivers like my mom aren’t the only caregivers who are undervalued.
Mom always took first fiddle. Everything else was brushed aside. And one of the things I learned from my caregiving experience is that caregivers must be supported in the workplace.
What do caregivers need most? It’s a question with many answers, but the simplest one is this: to be seen. This is true for all caregivers, both professional caregivers and unpaid caregivers.
Caregivers are harmed by not being supported by the kinds of policies that we want. Many are harmed by not having what they need, too, including adequate financial, social and personal resources to care for themselves and their loved ones.