You may not think about this often, but caregivers range from all ages. They can be teenagers taking care of an elderly neighbor or baby boomers caring for their parents.
Long Beach’s SCAN Foundation Hope’s Heroes is honoring and spotlighting Claudia Farfan, as one of eight caregivers at this year’s Rose Parade float.
For the last 33 years, she has dedicated her life to caring for her mother. Farfan was only 15 years old when she lost her father to a heart attack and stepped up to keep her family afloat.
“My mother was not prepared to care for the household or with managing a checking account, she didn’t even know how to write a check, and neither did I,” said Farfan.
Throughout the years, Farfan has managed her family’s properties and remained her mother’s primary caretaker after she fell ill five years ago.
“It’s just what you do as a family. That’s just the way it is. Luckily for us we were fine financially… At a certain age, we’re all gonna be facing the same issue. So I just hope our elderly are able to go forward with love and dignity,” said Farfan.
The Long Beach-based independent public charity is hoping caregivers of all generations know they are not alone.
“This effort to bring awareness is a newer engagement for us as we reach out to real people and tell their real stories,” said Mari Nicholson, Director of Communications at The SCAN Foundation.
According to a poll by AP Norc, a third of Americans under forty already care for an older relative or friend, and another third expect to do so in the next five years.
“We found that they (millennials) are balancing a lot,” said Mari Nicholson, Director of Communications atThe SCAN Foundation.
Caregiving can become isolating and a difficult task, whereby younger generations may not even realize they are doing it, and most often dismiss the idea of counseling or resources.
The SCAN Foundation hopes sharing stories like Claudia Farfan’s will help caregivers relate and prioritize their own wellbeing.
The Hope’s Heroes float can be seen at the Tournament of Roses Parade at 8 am on Jan. 1 2020 in Pasadena. The parade will also air on television.
By: Claudia Bermudez