As the primary caregiver for my father during the last eight years of his life, I know only too well the personal challenges and rewards caregivers and their families experience. But when we realize that in 2009, 62 million family caregivers provided over $450 billion in care, we see that the personal challenges of caregiving also have significant public policy implications.
Some believe it all started with a tennis match in the 1970s but the battle between the sexes has always existed -- it just gets updated for today's modern dilemmas: who gets paid more at work for the same job, who is a better driver, who controls the remote at home, who gets kicked off the reality TV program island and on it goes.
It is not a strength to be self-sufficient at all times in all circumstances. The people you love are dying to be there for you, and we in turn need to reciprocate that. It's a gift that we can give, and that we owe, to the people who put everything aside just so our lives can be a little more tolerable.