Hamlet Senior Center will hold a Candlelight Reflections service at New Hope Baptist Church in Hamlet on Nov. 1 from 6 to 7 p.m. to honor and offer support to local family caregivers. Begun in 2002, Candlelight Reflection services are a joint venture between NC Alzheimer’s, Inc. and the NC Family Caregiver Support Program.
With the increasing aging of the population in industrial countries, caregiving has been recognized for its important societal and economic function. One in every five families in the U.S. is engaged in caregiving. About 61.6 million people are providing in-home care for an infirm adult who is chronically sick, disabled or elderly or as a grandparent or kinship relative providing caring for the more than 1.4 million minor children who do not live with a parent. It is estimated that this unpaid care saves taxpayers more than $450 million.
Families will participate in the Nov. 1 service by lighting a candle of honor during the service that recognizes a family caregiver’s dedication and sacrifices. Candles of remembrance can be lit by families and friends for those who have passed away this year. Candles of hope will also be lit to raise public awareness of the rising number of people being cared for at home with Alzheimer’s disease and the need to find a cure. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death for Americans and 1 in 8 Americans are living with this disease.
The service is held annually on the first Thursday in November in observance of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and the National Family Caregiver Month, to show community support to those who have taken on this role, often with increased stress that can impact their personal and work lives. As their caregiving duties increase, caregivers often feel overwhelmed and underappreciated. This service offers an opportunity for family and friends to express their gratitude and tell personal stories about a family caregiver who has devoted themselves to the care and well-being of a loved one. All caregivers, friends, and families involved in caregiving are invited to attend.