This past Tuesday night in Chicago, blogger and author Glennon Doyle (formerly Glennon Doyle Melton) joined forces with a panel of other equally insightful and inspiring women to talk about finding your own self worth and harnessing that power to live your best life. We were lucky enough to be in the audience and hear the many roles these women have taken on in their lives: daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, career women, and caregivers. In her New York Times bestselling book Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle wrote “My courage will come from knowing I can handle whatever I encounter there — because I was designed by my creator to not only survive pain and love but also to become whole inside it. I was born to do this. I am a Warrior.”
Women ARE warriors. For many women, our role as a nurturer and caregiver spans the full cycle of life, from the births of our children all the way to caring for our aging parents. Caring for another person is unlike any other job in the world. The weight of responsibility, the emotional highs and lows, the physical stress and exhaustion, and the strain on other relationships that being a caregiver imposes on a woman is demanding and isolating. Adding in maintaining a marriage or partnership, looking after our own health, and holding down a job while attempting to care for another human life, whether infant or elder, is more than just a feat. It’s superhuman.
Women as Caregivers for Aging Parents
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), ‘the average caregiver is a 49 year old woman who works outside the home and provides 20 hours per week of unpaid care to her mother.’ FCA also speculates that many women are greatly financially impacted by leaving the workforce or reducing their work hours to care for children and that this impact is felt yet again when they are forced to make the same decision to care for an aging parent. According to FCA, women who are caregivers for an elderly parent are 2.5 times as likely to live in poverty.
From Child Birth to Taking Care of Parents and Everything in Between
Many nursing and clinical education programs have now implemented classes addressing the mental and physical health of a caregiver. Attention is finally being paid to those of us who care for others and the overwhelming pressure to juggle all the difficulties life throws at us while trying not to drop the ball.
To be clear, a caregiver doesn’t necessarily mean one who lives with an aging parent or elderly family member, nor does it mean someone that is physically there day in and day out. Caregivers also refer to those of us who are primarily responsible for overseeing the care of a parent or loved one who is under the clinical supervision of a health care professional or facility. If you are the child or loved one of a nursing home resident or someone that receives in-home care, you, too, are a caregiver. If you are a mother, whether to a small child or a college student, you are a caregiver.
According to Mayo Clinic, caregivers are more prone to anxiety and depression and self care is essential. Sometimes being a caregiver simply means taking care of yourself. You have a responsibility to look after your heath and well being, a job which in and of itself can be trying. Among other recommendations, Mayo Clinic advises caregivers to accept help, seek support, and connect with others. Knowing when to seek help is one of the most difficult things for women to do. But when something feels off, trusting our instincts is one of our greatest strengths.
Decades of Working for Justice for Women Like You
Levin & Perconti, a Chicago-based personal injury, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse and neglect law firm, is extremely proud that HALF of our attorneys are women. For over 25 years, our female attorneys have represented women and children with injuries sustained during childbirth, with injuries and wrongful death due to medical error and neglect, with injuries suffered on the job or from other forms of negligence, and those whose parents or loved ones have been abused or neglected in nursing homes or by a hired caregiver.
The women of Levin & Perconti have spent their careers serving not only as legal counsel, but as compassionate listeners and fierce advocates for justice for women through every stage of life. Partner Susan Novosad has been chosen as one of Chicago Magazine’s top 100 lawyers and was named one of the top 50 female attorneys in the city. Susan was also honored with the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award for her work not only as a female attorney, but for her mentorship of young female attorneys trying to forge their own path in law and life. Susan has worked for over 30 years balancing a legal career, mentoring other women, and raising 3 children.
Partner Margaret Battersby Black was awarded the prestigious 40 Illinois Attorneys under 40 to Watch and regularly spends free time mentoring law students and judging moot court competitions. Margaret manages this in addition to her case work and raising two young children.
Many calls and consultations that we receive are from women who aren’t sure if they need legal advice, but want to talk to someone who knows the law and whom they can trust. Our Chicago women personal injury attorneys have taken on every role in life and are uniquely positioned to understand your worries and needs. We can be relied on to work with and for you to get answers, settle disputes, and earn you compensation for economic losses, physical and emotional loss of quality of life, and even the lost life of a loved one.
Please do not hesitate to call us at 312-332-2872 (toll-free 1-877-374-1417) or complete our online consultation form. Consultations are always free and confidential. You are not alone. We are here to help you get the justice you deserve.