The Ruth Project
After Naomi’s sons and husband die in Moab, she releases her daughters-in-law back to the families. But Ruth “clings” to Naomi and refuses to leave her. Her decision to go with Naomi was a great sacrifice. Rather than remarry among her own people, Ruth leaves her homeland and goes to Israel as a widow, the very lowest member of that society. Still, Ruth dutifully goes out to the fields and provides for herself and her mother-in-law. It is an act of great courage on her part, as well as a loving sacrifice—to care for the needs of Naomi, while her own future was anything but secure.
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Give A Caregiver The Gift Of A Read That Feels Their Pain
According to the latest data from the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, 43.5 million people in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. When one includes the number of people who don’t think of themselves as caregivers but are in relationships with people suffering from trauma or mental illness, or addicted to drugs or alcohol, the number of caregivers in America is surely much higher.
What is the state of this mostly unpaid, untrained and underserved army of individuals caring for the most vulnerable among us?
In two words, Weary Warriors!
It is estimated that Caregivers’ contribute in economic value of their services $196 billion plus dollars which far exceeds overall national spending on home health and nursing home care. As our country moves to limiting long-term care payments, our health care system’s need to rely on family caregivers has no choice but to intensify.
It is undeniable that family caregiving brings better results to patients physically and psychologically, I lived it! “Past studies have shown that caregiving can adversely influence the caregiver’s psychological health through added strain, stress, and depression. In addition, family caregivers are less likely to engage in preventive health behaviors and may even be at increased risk for mortality. It is suggested that certain factors such as race, advanced age, employment status, and inadequate social support increases the caregiver’s risk for poor health outcomes. Therefore, it appears that the added burden of caregiving may have a more severe impact on the well-being of particular subgroups of caregivers who have predisposing characteristics that place them at “higher risk” for adverse health outcomes.”
The most important thing after the health and well being of the person in their care to a caregiver is validation. Validation that their mental stability is under siege. Validation that they are tired of being tired but that they still need to fight for their loved one! The fact that they are holding space for a loved one does not come at a cheap price.
I became a caregiver overnight, at the age of 39 to my newly minted 40-year old husband. The experience changed my life, I will never be the same. I moved from an inwardly focused person to a compassionate, selfless mindset. I learned to put most fo my needs aside to help my vulnerable husband. Caregivers are fighting this fight everyday all over the world and most people do not see their pain. Why because their pain seems to pale in comparison to the person they are caregiving for.
We no longer have to sacrifice the patient’s pain for the caregiver’s pain. We can see both. Otherwise the caregiver is destined to be the patient at some point soon.
I have written this book as an ode to Caregivers everywhere. You are seen, your emotions are raw, they are felt, they are acknowledged. Your tears are my tears, your hopes were my hopes, your fears were my fears. YOUR LIFE WAS AND STILL IS MY LIFE.
I hold space for you to be okay with not being okay. I have penned as a release for me and I have penned this book for you.
We are partnering with Caregiver associations across the country on the “Ruth” project to gift books that could give them a lifeline as they suffer silently. Support A Caregiver Today. Give them the gift of a read that acknowledges their pain. Don’t wait, we will all at some point need family or friend as caregivers at some point in our lives. We may at some time become a caregiver overnight ourselves, I became one and it wasn’t pretty.
I URGE YOU TODAY to gift a second book, a third book or 100 books to the unseen caregivers help a caregiver acknowledge their pain. We will directly gift the book on your behalf to a caregiver in need of this memoir. While their situation may not change, the release of acknowledging their reality is a first and major step to healing for them. Please do your part and support a caregiver today!