National Women’s History Month
More than half of unpaid caregivers are providing care to a parent. Of those caregivers, 63% are female. Women have a long history in shaping caregiving and home care practices. Here are four of history’s women who played a role in changing the world of caregiving.
Ethel Percy Andrus
You may not know the name Ethel Percy Andrus, but you know of the organization she founded. AARP was born after the former school teacher and principal learned of a retired teacher who had nothing more than a $40 pension and was living in a backyard chicken coop. That retired teacher desperately needed medical care, but there was no program at the time to help her.
Ethel Percy Andrus also cared for her father and became her mother’s family caregiver after retiring. She cared for two parents and championed the retired to ensure they received fair treatment after leaving the working world. AARP continues to help older adults through group discount programs for everything from health insurance to cell phone plans.
Clara Barton was actually educated to become a school teacher, but her talent and interest in nursing remained strong throughout her childhood and young adult years. After her mother’s death, she took up writing and accepted a job with the U.S. Patent Office. It wasn’t until the Civil War that she started bringing much-needed medical supplies to the makeshift hospitals.
Clara received permission from Abraham Lincoln to open the Office of Missing Soldiers. Mental exhaustion would lead her to Europe where she worked with the International Red Cross, which established her new goal of creating the same organization in the U.S.
Rosalynn Carter’s father’s death established her role as a family caregiver early on as her mother needed help raising Rosalynn’s siblings. After marrying Jimmy Carter, she had children to care for and also worked tirelessly to help run the family’s peanut farm. When her husband won the presidency, she would take on an important role of advocating for mental health and mental illness.
Florence Nightingale was both a talented statistician and a nurse. Her training as a nurse and her role in educating nurses in the Crimean War shaped the world of modern nursing by focusing heavily on keeping treatment areas clean and sterile. The world has Florence Nightingale to thank for her insistence on handwashing to help prevent the spread of germs while caring for others.
When you are the primary caregiver, you need to take care of yourself first. If you don’t have a large support team, talk to your local home care agency about respite care. Trained caregivers can stop by and take over your care responsibilities while you take a break.
Home care aides help your mom, but they also help you. Make the call to learn more about the prices and services that are offered in your mom’s neighborhood.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care in Arlington, VA please contact the caring staff at Butters Home Health Care today. (703) 371-2113