Caregivers selflessly dedicate their time and energy to loved ones, often navigating complex medical issues, offering emotional solace, and profoundly impacting their family’s life.
Most adults will experience the act of caregiving at some point in their lives, whether it’s for a parent, grandparent, child, partner or close friend. In the United States alone, nearly 20% of the adult population is currently serving as a family caregiver for an ill or disabled relative, and 75% of those individuals are women.
Science Care’s Rosanna Ishak, Client Relations Specialist, served as her father, Sam Ishak’s, primary caregiver for more than 10 years.
“At the young age of 59, my father was diagnosed with dementia,” Rosanna said. “We didn’t understand the full impact the diagnosis would have, but we quickly adapted to ensure he had the best care and advocates.”
Sam’s symptoms began to progress, and Rosanna naturally began to support her mother as his primary caregiver. Over the coming months, Rosanna would spend her spare moments learning all she could about dementia, the new medications, and how to support her father living a life of independence.
“The experience of caring for my father has forever impacted me,” Rosanna said. “What a gift to be able to give back to him the same love and care he gave me.”
While she describes serving as a caregiver to the man who gave her so much as a true honor, Rosanna is also quick to acknowledge how difficult it is to take care of yourself while also being responsible for the care of another.
“The truth is, there were many difficult obstacles,” Rosanna said.
“Finding a new way to balance all the different hats you have to wear is not easy. I had to learn to give myself grace, ask for help when needed, and that it is okay to not be okay.”
Sam was the eldest of nine siblings and the loving father to four children.
“My father poured love and kindness into everyone around him his entire life,” Rosanna said. “My dad was a natural, selfless giver.”
After a 10-year journey in his battle with dementia, Sam passed away last year.
“Losing my father was one of the hardest and most heartbreaking moments for my family,” Rosanna said. “But we knew he was surrounded by love and given the best life he could have.”
For Rosanna, caring for a loved one is a profound act of service and something that deserves to be recognized.
We agree wholeheartedly, and offer our sincere recognition to all of those around the world who are caring for someone special to them.
If you know someone serving as a caregiver, we’ve put together a blog with ideas on how to support a caregiver. For more resources for caregiving, check out the Elder Care Locator or your local Area on Aging.