Caregivers need support too
My mom has dementia, and I am the only person she (usually) remembers anymore — including herself when she looks in a mirror. I’ve been caring for her five years now and she has recently started to pace around in a confused state and even wander outside. We have safety alerts, but I can no longer run out, even locally, to do errands.
Although my mom was difficult, dementia made her soft and easy to live with and we’ve grown close over these years. My heart breaks knowing it’s time to find a facility for her, but she left no resources and I’m struggling to find options for regular visitation. I may have to move near a quality facility that is covered by Medicaid.
Through my experience, I really found my inner advocate as an employee who is neurodivergent and is a caregiver. I’ve belonged to the In-Visible Inclusion (I2) Employee Resource Group for years now, and often facilitate its Caregiver’s Circle conversations and share my story, connect with other caregivers, and learn about resources available to support us. These Fannie Mae resources are invaluable, like the Dependent Care Assistance Program, Eldercare Consultant Services Program, and Financial Planning, to name a few.
Statistically most of us will become caregivers, and there are varying levels of caregiving. It's important that we (and family members) take care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. You often hear company leadership share that “it’s OK to not be OK” and encourage us to reach out for support when we need it — and I couldn’t agree more. Through Fannie Mae, we have access to mental health resources such as the Employee Assistance Program, which provides up for six counseling sessions per year, and Talkspace, an emotional text support platform.
I invite everyone to learn about the challenges your colleagues face as caregivers. I hope that by sharing my story, I can help those going through similar circumstances understand that they are not alone in what they’re going through.
If you are looking for a workplace that can support you as a full person, including your needs as a caregiver, search our open opportunities and consider joining Fannie Mae.