Contributed by by Fabiola Jean-Charles, Transitions Program Manager and Ryan Thompson, Transitions Program Social Worker
This month, Transitions recognized the caregivers of our clients for Caregiver Appreciation Day (February 19). With the help of an exceptional group of 20-plus Big Bend Hospice and AmeriCorps Volunteers, Transitions and other BBH staff and interns arranged for each caregiver to receive a sweet treat and a loving and encouraging card or letter. After gathering the items (and some additional touches, like floral bouquets) volunteers were dispatched to caregiver homes throughout the region, collectively clocking thousands of miles on their odometers (and hundreds of hours of their time).
One longtime BBH volunteer, Muriel Thielen, reflected “the opportunity to ‘share the love’ with our Transitions caregivers was a chance to share compassion, caring, concern—and, of course, the love—with some folks that might have been tempted to feel a little left out.” Caregivers, who some have called “the invisible patient” in the caregiving dyad, frequently feel isolated and invisible. While chocolate and a card are not much materially, we hope these items, hand-delivered or mailed (to caregivers living outside the BBH service area) by volunteers, remind them that their labor of love does not go unnoticed.
Caregivers toil selflessly and diligently to care for a loved one. During this month’s Caregiver Appreciation event we met or got reacquainted with over 100 caregivers. Several told us, after receiving the delivery, that “It just feels good to be recognized.” We encourage you to thank a caregiver you know today.