*While some sat on their hands, others leaped to their feet to applaud President Trump’s soaring appeal during his State of the Union Address for the current Congress to honor its legacy by tackling immense issues. Border security, immigration, AIDS, and pediatric cancer made President Trump’s issues lists worthy of a united American government.
Although tackling heavily divisive topics such as socialism and abortion, he omitted a class of 43.5 million unpaid caregivers.
The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP shared that 43.5 million people in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. While those numbers remain staggering, untold numbers don’t consider themselves caregivers yet indeed care for people suffering from trauma or mental illness or addicted to drugs or alcohol. Despite the opioid crisis dominating headlines for the last several years, the caregivers of those legitimately or illegitimately taking opioids remained overlooked.
As family caregivers, this massive group of unpaid great American workers provide an economic value of nearly $500 billion of labor each year. That’s a number close to the annual trade deficit. America is bumping chests with China over numbers less than that amount, yet we’re not even mentioning this vast group or their labors in now three addresses to Congress.
While the divided mentality in Congress remains in full view during such events as the State of the Union, the issue of family caregivers should unite them all. Those individuals charged with our government will either one day be a caregiver — or one day need one
The slow approach of this issue to many remains on the horizon of senior status. Despite that, spouses, siblings, partners, parents, and grandparents of those with special needs, disabilities, and chronic illness ranging from MS to addiction—even now occupy the halls of power in Washington.
Partisan issues serve as the low hanging fruit for those concerned about politics over progress. Yet disability, illness, and age respect no political party.
Rarely, however, does an issue affect so many while receiving so little attention. The needs of caregivers are vital. If the caregiver goes down physically, fiscally, or emotionally — the loss is felt by more than just the caregiver. It’s always at least a two-for-one deal.
Numerous boards regulate skilled care for patients with extreme needs. Yet vast numbers of family caregivers regularly administer drugs and perform medical tasks previously only performed by trained medical personnel. What happens when the caregiver makes a mistake, calls in sick, or becomes depressed and impaired in their day-to-day functions?
In the President’s State of the Union, a child with cancer, an officer recovering from gunshot wounds, and elderly veterans and survivors of war — all stood to thunderous applause from the entire American government.
Orbiting each of those individuals are unpaid, unrecognized, and most likely untrained family caregivers. How are they feeling? How are they holding up?
We should all applaud those who stand up to difficult challenges. Bearing the suffering and harsh needs of a vulnerable loved one is also a challenge worthy of applause and recognition. Yet affirmation without direction is as useless to caregivers as praise without treatment is to the chronically ill.
Caregivers require a clear path to healthiness for themselves. Should our public platforms fail to effectively address the weary army of those caring for the most vulnerable among us, the impact will be felt in families, schools, churches, the workforce, medical centers, rehab centers, and funeral homes.
Helping a caregiver first requires noticing a caregiver.
Just one paragraph in an address such as the State of the Union would help. Maybe next year, we can hear from that magnificent podium a message to all family caregivers such as the following:
“We see you. We see the magnitude of what you carry, and we hurt with you. As a nation, we purpose to address the needs of family caregivers through resources such as respite care, better access to mental health care for caregivers, and better access to primary care for family caregivers. We do this because, as a nation, we more clearly see that ‘Healthy caregivers …make better caregivers.”
Peter Rosenberger hosts a radio program for family caregivers broadcast weekly from Nashville, TN on more than 200 stations. He has served as a caregiver for his wife Gracie, who has lived with severe disabilities for more than 30 years. His new book, 7 Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them released nationally Fall 2018. @hope4caregiver
Is Pres. Elect Biden Obama’s 3rd Term? & What 44 Said About Black America’s Progress Under His Watch on ‘Breakfast Club’ (VIDEO)
*Attorney Antonio Moore discusses the recent Obama Breakfast Club interview during his Book tour.
Moore harshly critiques the interview of Pres. Obama performed by Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Angela Yee.
He also looks closer at President Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet picks and measures them again Barack Obama & Bill Clinton’s prior administrations.
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
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