Smell dinner cooking on the charcoal? But can we relax?

Heather Jose photo.

Heather Jose

CaregivING DOESN’T take holidays.

That’s a top complaint from millions of caregivers all across the nation. The truth is: We might like to enjoy more time away from our responsibilities, but our loved ones need us all the time, in most cases. Finding vacation-replacement care is very tough. It’s expensive—if we can even find professionals to replace us. It’s hard to muster volunteers for vacations.

Outdoor barbecue in a parkRight now, we’re all smelling the smoke of picnic fires—at least figuratively. We are coming off the holiday weekend where it seems the whole country has been doing nothing but BBQing and kicking back with friends.

However, no matter what Facebook may say there are still millions that weren’t relaxing at a lake somewhere. Rather, millions of us were attending to the needs of others. So, today, let me just salute all of us who maintain the tedious duties that make millions of needy lives continue to thrive among us.

I know what you have to shoulder: Many things you do go unnoticed and unsaid. Every day is like the day before. If you do take a break, the guilt sets in and sucks out all the joy. It is a challenge to include those we care for in festivities, but sad not do so as well.

Unless you surround yourself with other caregivers it can be difficult to find people who understand how we feel. Our goal—here at We Are Caregivers—is to build a community that does understand. a place where you can find encouragement, but also reality.

We know it’s true: Caregiving doesn’t take holidays. Chronic needs are there everyday. But, caregivers can and do find refreshment. There are lots of strategies for this. I welcome you, please, to share a tip you’ve discovered. Or, tell us about how you’re finding your own slice of summer vacation. Let’s share our hard-earned wisdom, shall we?

And, please, share this column with friends. Sharing this column can show you care. Ask friends for ideas. Click the blue-“f” Facebook icons and “Like” this column, so your friends will see it online. Or, use the little envelope-shaped icons to email to friends. Take a moment and add a comment below, so friends will see your thoughts. Together, we can make a difference.