As an acknowledgement to those who provide care, Bon Secours New York Health System and Schervier Nursing Care Center hosted its second annual Schervier Cares for Caregivers Day on Sunday, April 26. The day was a tribute to caregivers—the unsung, often under-appreciated individuals—who were honored and pampered with massage, manicures, a delicious lunch, meditation, memory games, raffle prizes and entertainment by the Broesler School of Irish Dance; Annie and Alice Tao, sisters who play classical and romantic music on the piano and violin; and singer Rick Hess, the musical director and Cantor at St. Mary’s Church in Yonkers for 35 years.
Caregiving can take a huge toll on the person providing care. Thirty-five percent of caregivers are over age 65 and ten percent are over age 75. Stressed elderly spousal caregivers with a history of chronic illness themselves have a 63% higher mortality rate than their non-caregiving peers. Family caregivers who provide 36 or more hours of care weekly are more likely than non-caregivers to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, changes in appetite and weight loss, irritability and lack of sleep. Without question, caregivers are our unsung heroes.