This article was written by Diana Holmes, the is the Caregiver Homes Branch Manager for Attleboro, MA.
Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparents' Day—I am struck by all the formal ways we recognize family throughout the year. For people who take on the full-time responsibility of caring for someone, every day becomes an opportunity to celebrate family—and an example of what it means to be a family and care like one, too.
The word "family" has evolved over the years. It has been defined and re-defined based on positive societal and cultural changes. It is no surprise that Webster's Dictionary has eight definitions. Here are a few:
"a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head; household;
a group of persons of common ancestry;
a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation."
This definition opens up the reality that, though there may not be a genetic relation, many people can be considered family: lifelong friends, close neighbors, partners, co-workers, and of course, caregivers.
While family members can come in many forms, what it means to be a family is largely the same. It means unwavering and unconditional support. It means going above and beyond to care for someone, not out of obligation but out of genuine concern for their health, happiness and well-being.
There are many ways, both big and small, to celebrate that bond and demonstrate what it means to care like family. Caregivers who support someone around-the-clock demonstrate this each day.