Being a caregiver to a loved one can be an incredibly isolating thing.
It’s hard for those who aren’t in your daily sphere to really understand what you’re dealing with in trying to take care of your loved one. And it can be hard to remember to care for yourself.
We talked earlier about caring for yourself as a caregiver, but we wanted to revisit this and take a look at some pretty famous people who have been caregivers for their own family members.
Sometimes just knowing that someone else is going through what you are can be incredibly affirming.
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Dwayne JohnsonFirst up is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Several years ago, he announced that his mother was facing a stage 3 lung cancer diagnosis. He helped to care for her during her chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but announced her remission in 2010. While caring for his mother, Dwayne was quoted as saying “always take a moment to count our blessings [because] there’s always something to be grateful for.”
Henry WinklerYou probably remember Henry Winkler as “The Fonz” from Happy Days, among other roles. Though he’s spent decades in Hollywood and in the spotlight, you might not know his own mother suffered a stroke in the ‘90s. He helped his sister care for their mother for over 10 years after her stroke. Not only did his experience lead him to serve as an ambassador for Open Arms: Raising Awareness of the Upper Limb Spasticity, but it taught him that caregivers need tenacity to get through the experience. “Somehow you keep the fire burning to take those tiny steps forward because it is so easy to just give up.”
Rob LoweThe former 80’s heartthrob turned iconic actor, Rob Lowe cared for his mother during her battle with breast cancer. Diagnosed while he was in his thirties, he and his brothers worked together to take care of her. Though not expecting to be caregivers quite so young, they quickly stepped up to manage her paperwork, medications, schedules, and in-house help. While he has acknowledged that he was luckier than many Americans to have resources, he also constantly felt overwhelmed by the process. But, he learned quickly that he still had to take care of himself: “From my own experience, I can assure you: The person you’re caring for needs you to be at your best. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the energy or the means to provide the reliable care that your loved ones need.” He currently works with the Cancer Hope Network to promote support specifically for caregivers.
Caregivers Have a Critical Role
Whether you’re a caregiver now or have a friend or family member who is one themself, know that you are not alone.
It’s estimated that 40 million Americans are serving as unpaid caregivers for their loved ones.
If you are one of those – or can see it on the horizon – just remember to take those little steps at a time and take care of yourself.