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It takes a very special person to be a caregiver. A caregiver must have patience, understanding, strength and the stamina of a tri-athlete. A caregiver’s heart must be willing to be stressed, torn, broken and never allowed to fully heal. Caregivers give willing, countless hours of their time without pay or benefits and usually with little to no praise or thanks. It’s no wonder that many caregivers question why they ever signed up for this job or if their efforts are truly making a difference.
The role and duties of caregiving can fall to any gender, any age and be done by family, friends or even casual acquaintances. However, the truth of the matter is that caregivers rarely are asked to apply for the job they are given. Usually it is something they take on without thinking or because there is simply no one else. Regardless, a caregiver’s efforts, no matter how big or small, are worth their weight in gold.
According to AARP’s publication “Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Family Caregiving” in 2007 it was estimated that 34 million Americans could be classified as family caregivers. Their efforts and unpaid contributions held an estimated economic value of over $375 billion, more than the total amount spent by both the state and federal Medicaid programs and just short of what the Medicare program spent in 2007. Without the efforts of caregivers many of these government programs would be adversely affected.
However, putting money aside, the true value of a caregiver is in the hands-on care and concern that they provide to their loved ones. Many times it is the family caregiver who is ensuring their loved one’s health and well-being. Caregivers coordinate doctor appointments, manage medications and do much to maintain a high quality of life for their loved one. In essence, they help keep them healthy, happy and safe. Without caregivers our society would be much worse off, as would the health and well-being of our community.
Recently, I heard a song on the radio that spoke of the heroism of caregivers and the ways in which their loved ones and those around them express their thanks. It also describes how even the smallest effort does make a difference to so many. The song is titled “She’s Somebody’s Hero” and is written and sung by country singer and songwriter, Jamie O’Neal.
“She’s Somebody’s Hero” begins by describing a mother’s role of caregiving throughout the life of her daughter. It speaks to how her efforts may seem to go unnoticed, except for in the appreciative smile of her child. As the child matures the role of caregiver changes hands and by the end of the song the smile has transferred from daughter to mother with the final lines of the song saying,
“She’s somebody’s hero, A hero to her mother in a rocking chair, She runs a brush through her silver hair, The envy of the nursing home, She drops by every afternoon, Feeds her mama with a spoon, And that smile lets her know, Her mother’s smile lets her know, She’s somebody’s hero.”
If you are a caregiver, please know that you are a hero. Not only to your loved one, but to everyone who is witness to your care and compassion. Thank you for all that you do. May the smiles you receive be a gold medal pinned to your heart and lift your soul throughout your caregiving journey.
My father has been here only a little over 2 months. The positive change in him has been DRAMATIC! I would HIGHLY recommend Azura........ I would give it 10 stars if they allowed it! This is the premier facility for any family member with cognitive issues! They do treat residents like family, believe it!
Review posted by Stephen Diedrich
The staff at Oak Creek are all fabulous! It takes special people to care for our loved ones. If has been a trying year for all and the staff at oak creek get a shout out for their kindness and compassion they give to my mom and the others. They have all gone above and beyond to make things seem as normal as possible for my mom! All of the staff have been so helpful and kind! They are all fabulous!!
Review posted by Mary Kubacki
"We want to thank you for the loving special care you took of our mother, Diane. It was truly mom's home and you all became part of our family. Everything was home for her....from the beautiful rooms, large sunny windows all around, good food made with love, fun and personal activities from people who really loved our mom. We would highly recommend your facility to anyone. The staff from the director, to the doctor, to the nurse, to the caregivers and the maintenance man were all extremely helpful, caring, loving and professional. There are not enough words to say how much we appreciate all of you. Your exceptional care, kindness, and love were beyond anything we could have imagined. You were part of our family, and we will miss you." - Gail Sommers and Deborah Guse
Review posted by Gail Sommers & Deborah Guse
Just moved my sister-in-law to Azura Stoughton on February 12th. I feel like I’ve found a little piece of dementia heaven. The staff has gone way beyond my expectations to meet her needs and take time to know her. Anyone who has dementia deserves the TLC they receive at Azura. I’m so impressed.
Review posted by Gail Aaroen
Thank you to the Azura Memory Care team, Sheboygan location for the amazing, loving care they provided my dad. They truly loved and cared for my dad as if he was their own. It is such a warm, loving, family environment I only wish we would have moved my dad there years earlier!
Review posted by Patti Bunch
Review posted by Ron Paxson
I have enjoyed working with patients at Azura Care as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The staff has been very helpful in sharing important information about the patients to make their therapy sessions as productive as possible. They are open to learning techniques to help keep patients safe and improve their ability to perform daily tasks with less assistance. Their interactions with patients show caring and compassion with a focus on the needs of each individual to enjoy the best quality of life possible.
Review posted by Barb Eisenberg
The journey of caregiving for my Aunt started over 4 years ago. It has been a very long difficult journey. It is hard to watch and frustrating to watch a loved one decline, as well as for them to live the decline. My Aunt found her final peace at Azura Memory Care in Sheboygan. It was not only her peace but mine as well. I no longer had to worry about her care as I could see that she was loved by her Azura family. She passed away on June 21 and they knew how important that it was for me to be there, but I also found peace that if I was not there, she was with family that loved her. No words can express the appreciation for the care, compassion and love that they have for all their residents. God has opened many doors through my journey and the doors at Azura were truly a gift from God. This family made a difference in a long journey. I will always have them in my thoughts and prayers. They are where and doing what they are meant to do!
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