In the United States, approximately 42 million adults provide what is called “unpaid” care, yet many do not consider themselves to be caregivers. A lot of these individuals are struggling with the daily responsibilities of being a caregiver.

A new study shows that nearly three in 10 people who are take care of someone say their life has changed because of caregiving. Many caregivers admit that things such as their social life or their ability to make time for themselves have changed drastically. They might consider visiting www.aarp.org/caregiving to connect with help, information and with others with the same experience.

As we get together for the holidays now and in the weeks ahead, this is a wonderful time to acknowledge the critical role caregivers play in our lives. AARP has developed the “Thanks Project” to send love and gratitude to those caring for a loved one. Visit thanksproject.org to thank your favorite caregiver. I’m thanking mine: without my daughter to help me, my life at 90 would be very different, and I’m grateful every day for all she does.

Jane MagnusAARP Maine volunteerWindham