Black History and Caregiving

This blog acknowledges and illuminates the African-American caregiver experience. Our future, meaning the younger generations, must be reminded that caring for the family, especially our elders is an expectation. It’s what we did back then and it’s what we must do now! Anyone in the family could be considered a caregiver. The role is collective, meaning no one is exempt. Caregiving goes on from birth to the grave in a black household. It does and will always have its share of stressors and anxieties. Coping with the day-to-day operations of caregiving has been a challenge, due in part to not being proactive. There is the “ I’m gonna live forever’ mentality”..and as we all know, that is further from the truth.

In African American families multiple hats are worn and the men in the family, once sole breadwinners, are now a contributing part of the caregiving landscape. Like women, men, daily find ways to get things done. We do not give them the voice they deserve, but I see many articles about husbands, sons, uncles, nephews, and brothers stepping up to care for family members. We must stop stereotyping them and include them in our discussion as able body and capable of navigating the role. With about over 2 million African American men on the planet, they are stepping up and out in the caregiving space. Let’s applaud them!

Caregiving Resources for African Americans

There are resources galore to support family caregivers like AARP, Caregiver Action Network, and the National Alliance for Caregiving. The Diverse Elders Coalition is an exciting resource and encourages a peek. We must encourage family caregivers to tap into support and guidance.

As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, know that in the African American family, caregiving has been known as a generational expectation, with lots of bacon and grits, greens and hot water cornbread, black-eyed peas, and ham hocks, but most importantly, a display of the labor of love from bassinet to the casket. Be safe! Be well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *