It’s almost impossible for my girlfriends and I to find a time to get together. The demands of life are all consuming, from children to jobs to aging parents. But when we tune in and start talking, the reality of what we’re all carrying spills out.

The stress, the need to find more time, the loss of sense of self. For some, the sadness and exhaustion of caring for a loved one. We put everything on the table (along with a strong drink) and breathe in the feeling of not being alone.

It reminds me of the thousands of caregivers here in Michigan who support family members who cannot care for themselves. It could be a child with special needs, a sick spouse or an aging parent.

According to the AARP:

  • More than 10% of the MI population serve as unpaid caregivers for relatives

  • Caregivers spend more than $7,000 out of pocket each year

  • Unpaid caregivers perform combined work worth $15.1 billion

I know several women who walk this road of caregiving. It is a difficult task that can be isolating and exhausting. And I know it myself.

I helped my husband who had cancer and died over two years ago. Endless calls (and long wait times!) to insurance companies. Coordination of medical visits. Find specialists. While living with an unknown future and hoping the energy keeps moving.

I would love to report on caregiving and families and I would love to speak with viewers who want to share their stories.

There is power in knowing you are not alone and in connecting with others who can help you. I think we can make a big difference and share resources!

So drop your story in the comments below, or you can always email me directly at [email protected]. I am here to listen. -CM

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