RAISE of Sunshine

These are actual quotes from actual family caregivers in response to the prompt— I never thought…


“I never thought I would care so deeply, or be so passionate, or be so tired!” L

“I never thought that, rather than struggle to overcome my basically selfish nature, I’d find myself missing it. Because I do! That part of me that actually puts my own needs and desires first…it’s gone AWOL. Maybe it’s dead. And I feel like less of a human being now, but just a human doing.” D

I never thought it would still be so unbearably painful at times.” H

“I never thought I would become a better, stronger me. But caregiving brought so many difficult hurdles that I had to get over – this could only make me stronger. Even if it is not seen right away, or if it takes years to notice; surviving this journey, making the decisions that I had to make, and letting them go, takes a strength that I had to create. Becoming a better person was inevitable – I am more compassionate, I feel more deeply and I have a better awareness than I did before.” K

Such heartfelt honesty and emotion. Just like caregiving itself. It can also be exhausting and a little lonely at times.

That’s why we’ll take a little good news whenever we can.

Even if it’s in the form of a policy update — the RAISE Family Caregivers Act has been signed into law! Thanks to lessons after school watching School House Rock, we know it took bipartisan approval and signatures from the House of Representatives, the Senate and ultimately the President to pass a bill into law. RAISE stands for Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act.

So what does that mean, exactly?

It means our elected officials have come together on an issue to recognize the challenges facing family caregivers.

It means legislation that will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, maintain, and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy.

It also means the HHS will organize a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to advise the department on ways to recognize and support family caregivers.

Pretty good, eh?

Even still, there’s always something about talk of bills and laws that can sound a little hard to follow, like legalese. So it’s nice to hear that on the topic of caregiving, even our congressmen and women can relate and have shared personal stories of their experiences with family caregiving–> Congressional Stories of Family Caregiving: Challenges, Rewards, and a Call to Action.

Chin up family caregivers, this is great news and proof that you are noticed. Our good work and conversations around caregiving are making a difference.

For all of our ‘I never thought’ sentiments that share how deeply we’re affected, there are rays of light on the journey ahead.


As always, feel free to share your “I never thought” moments, or comments on what it’s like to navigate the modern day workplace, managing family caregiving employees, or managing a career while taking care of a sick or aging parent. Kindly post a comment, or feel free to email me privately at sb@wearesharingthesun.com

Sarabeth Persiani

Sarahbeth Persiani is the author of Run, Walk, Crawl- A Caregiver Caught Between Generations. For five years, Sarahbeth was the primary caregiver for her Father, who had dementia, while working full-time and taking care of her own family. As the founder of We Are Sharing the Sun, her focus these days is to help companies create a supportive culture for family caregivers and provide education, support and encouragement for working professionals who are themselves in the sandwich squeeze.