Christy McDonald: Hey, caregivers! We want to hear your stories

Caregivers. (Photo by Matthias Zomer via Pexels)

It’s almost impossible for my girlfriends and I to find a time to get together. The demands of life are all consuming, from kids to jobs to aging parents. But when we connect and start talking, the reality of what we all carry comes spilling out.

The stress, the need to find more time, the losing sense of self. For some, the sadness and exhaustion of caring for a loved one. We put it all out on the table (with a strong drink), and exhale in the feeling of knowing we’re not alone.

It makes me think of the thousands of caregivers here in Michigan who support family members who can’t care for themselves. It could be a special needs child, a sick spouse or an aging parent.

According to AARP:

  • More than 10% of the MI population serves as unpaid caregivers for relatives
  • Caregivers spend more than estimated $7,000 out of pocket each year
  • Unpaid caregivers do a combined $15.1 billion dollars’ worth of work

I know several women who walk this caregiving road. It is a hard one that can be isolating and exhausting. And I know it well myself.

I was a caregiver to my husband who had cancer and passed away over two years ago. The endless calls (and long hold times!) to insurance companies. Coordinating doctor visits. Finding specialists. All the while living with the unknown future and hoping for the energy to keep moving.

I’d like to do some reports on caregiving and families and would love to talk with viewers who want to share their stories.

There is power in knowing you’re not alone and connecting with others who can help. I think we can make a big difference and share resources!

So drop your story in the comments below, or you can always email me directly at cmcdonald@wdiv.com. I’m here to listen. - CM


About the Author:

Christy McDonald is an Emmy-Award winning TV anchor and journalist who has covered news in Detroit and Michigan for 25 years before joining WDIV in 2022.