By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Pulaski Mayor Jeff Worrell signed a proclamation this week recognizing November as National Family Caregivers Month in the town of Pulaski.
The proclamation recognizes the theme of Caregivers Month as “Now More Than Ever!” It also recognizes that 39 percent, or two of five, adults in the United States are caregivers for a sick or disabled loved one; a 30 percent increase over 2010.
According to national figures, 15 million family caregivers are caring for more than 5 million loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease; the number of parents caring for children with special needs is increasing, and as many as 1 million Americans are providing home care for service members from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Men are now almost as likely to classify themselves as family caregivers as women. Thirty-six percent of Americans between 18 and 29 years of age are family caregivers, 1 million of which care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
Almost half of the caregivers also perform complex medical tasks for their loved ones, including managing multiple medications, providing wound care, and operating specialized medical equipment.
“With the ranks of family caregivers growing every year – tens of millions strong – it is now more important than ever to recognize the vital role that family caregivers play,” the proclamation states.