It is estimated that in Wisconsin, 549,000 caregivers are providing 588,000 million hours of care to loved ones annually, valued at nearly $6 billion dollars. MORE INFO
Making up a significant portion of those caregivers are siblings caring for their aging parents AND their siblings with disabilities, often while caring for their own growing children!
To recognize the care providers, both paid and unpaid, who provide personal cares of all types to people with disabilities, older adults and other family members and friends who require support to remain healthy and living in their homes and communities, we celebrate National Caregiver Day on February 15, 2019 (3rd Friday of February).
Many of the siblings, usually sisters, caring for family members are also employees and often challenged to juggle the needs of their family members with job requirements. Often they must choose to either remain employed or leave to care for their family. Employers are feeling the effects.
I’m so pleased to be presenting at an upcoming Caregiver Conference hosted by the Waupaca County Caregiver Coalition. The main reason I’m so pleased is that they recognize that one of the many important roles of siblings of people with disabilities is that of a caregiver.
Whether that role is taking their sibling to appointments, to go shopping, acting as their guardian, or being a reliable companion and ready listener, SIBLINGS ARE CAREGIVERS, often at very young ages.
This conference will focus on Resiliency in Caregiving. So regardless who you may be caring for, consider attending.
In preparation for National Caregiver Month (November), WisconSibs, Inc is participating in the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance (WFACSA) You Might Be a Caregiver If… campaign to raise awareness of the needs of caregivers.
Supported decision-making is a process now formally recognized in Wisconsin state law that provides an alternative to guardianship and will be a helpful tool for many Wisconsin residents. Supported Decision-Making can allow older adults and people with disabilities to retain their authority to make life decisions, while also having trusted people provide support. Attend this presentation to learn what the new law does and how you might use it in your life or to support a family member. Kristine Williams, attorney with Remley & Sensenbrenner, and WisconSibs board member will provide information and answer questions.
They may just look like sticky, sweet, marshmallowy-treats, but those cute bunnies and chicks made magic happen in the creative hands of those who entered our Sibs Are My Peeps contest this past month.
Some used the opportunity for team-building in their agency or family. Some tell a story. Still others used the opportunity to tell about their passion or an upcoming event.
Thank you to the Willems Student Marketing Team for collaborating with WisconSibs to make this project so much fun and bring out the voices of WisconSibs and their fans. The team of Appleton High School students applied their knowledge and youthful thinking to help us carry out this project. Well done, team!
We are very proud to announce the semi-finalists for 2018. These winning entries will advance to the finals at the freeFox Cities Kidz Expo on April 14th at the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center. Come visit our booth, sponsored by We Energies, and vote for your favorite to be the WisconSibs Peepl’s Choice!
You’ve heard me say it over and over…siblings have the longest and one of the most significant bonds in the life of a person with disabilities. That’s why staff, volunteers, and participants with WisconSibs have such passion to support siblings from childhood through adulthood and why we CELEBRATE the unique role of siblings, especially sisters (by the way Celebrate Sisterhood will be October 30, 2018).
That passion inspires us to not only recognize the millions of siblings of people with developmental disabilities, but also people with emotional and mental health concerns. An estimated 8.4 million Americans are caregivers to adult loved ones with a mental illness, most often a son or daughter, parent, spouse or sibling.
Jean Moore (left) shares a laugh with her sister, Ruby Wilson, in front of the assisted living facility where Wilson lives on Oct. 12, 2017, in Clinton, N.C. (Andrew Craft for Kaiser Health News)
Recently, the Kaiser Health News published a wonderful story about two sisters, Jean and Ruby and their bond as sisters, one with paranoid schizophrenia.
The girls grew up very close, almost like twins. “They used to say our name as JeannieandRuby. It was like one person.” But as they became teenagers, Rudy’s mental health changed and their lives began to diverge. As they became adults, Jean became a caregiver and an even closer sister. READ STORY
WisconSibs offers Sibshops to children ages 8-14 who are growing up with brothers or sisters with emotional or mental health concerns. Each session is held in a relaxed setting with games, snacks, and discussion about the concerns and the joys of growing up with their sibling. Held at the Catalpa Day Treatment Center in Appleton, siblings can join in any time during the series from January through May, 2018. For more information.
“Caregiving situations for siblings pack an extra emotional punch for the caregiver,” said John Schall, who runs the Caregiver Action Network, a nonprofit organization that supports people providing care to loved ones. “It’s not unusual for us to think at some point of being the caregiver for our elderly parents, but it’s a whole different thing to be a caregiver for a sibling who we always thought of as equals.”
JOIN US for a Community Dialogue on Family Caregivers – Monday, January 29, 2018 at the WisconSibs office, 211 E Franklin St., Appleton, WI – MORE INFORMATION