LETTER: Remember to take care in order to give care

As a member of the Washington State Council on Aging, I am writing this letter because November is National Family Caregivers Month.

The theme for 2016 is “Take Care To Give Care.”

Caregiving deserves our attention, as a human and financial concern.

Over 900,000 Washington state citizens serve as unpaid family caregivers.

According to data from the state Department of Social and Health Services, uncompensated, informal caregiving is estimated to be valued at $10.6 billion.

These unpaid caregivers lose about $300,000 in salary and benefits in their lifetime; many having minimal financial resources to begin with.

That to be strong enough to care for you loved one, you must take care to give care.

Caregiving can be rewarding but also physically and emotionally demanding.

The stress of dealing with caregiving responsibilities leads to higher risk of health issues among the nation’s 90 million family caregivers.

A significant objective of our care network should be to assist family caregivers — something such as a bit of time to care for self in the form of respite activities can make all the difference.

Caregivers are giving their help and need our help as well.

During National Family Caregivers Month, we must remember.

Marti Anthony,

Port Townsend