Pick up that phone. Dash off a text or an email. Issue a dinner invitation or make a date for a casual lunch. Or just drop by to see that friend or loved one who struggles with the burdens of caring for someone in poor physical or mental health.
Why now? Why not? Paula Spann deserves credit for her latest New York Times column highlighting the “unbearable” loneliness and isolation that caregivers confront as, other experts estimate, 43.5 million Americans provide $470 billion in tough, unstinting, and unpaid work for loved ones.
Even as they do so, however, they often must abandon their own careers and chunks of their own lives, watching with sadness as their social contacts and intellectual interests narrow, especially as their worlds become consumed with washing, feeding, entertaining, and keeping safe a spouse, grandparent, uncle, aunt, or other loved one. Their woes can be especially great if they’re caring for loved ones with the increasingly common and hugely demanding conditions of dementia and Alzheimer’s.