November Shines the Spotlight on Family Caregivers
National Family Caregivers Month, observed every November, is a nationally-recognized month that seeks to draw attention to the many rewards and struggles facing family caregivers. According to the National Family Caregivers Association, there are over 65 million family caregivers across the country who provide “80 percent of our nation’s long-term-care services”. Currently, family caregivers provide over $306 billion annually for “free caregiving services” to their loved ones.”
The Council for Older Adults understands that informal caregivers (family, friends and neighbors) increasingly share the responsibility for providing care and comfort for an older loved one. While there is great honor in caregiving for a loved one, there is also stress, self-sacrifice and many challenges.
In response to these, the Council for Older Adults of Delaware County has expanded services available to caregivers in an effort to assist local caregivers in keeping older loved ones living at home for as long as possible. These include the SENIOR CHOICES program, offering in-home services, monthly caregiver workshops, counseling and caregiver respite. In addition, the Council for Older Adults offers an Elder and Caregiver Resource Center, open to the public, and free LifeCards to record important medical information for older loved ones.
During the month of November, look for displays with caregiver information at the Delaware County District Library (Main & Orange branches) as well as at Buehler’s.
If you are a family caregiver, take time this month to celebrate who you are, and the importance of what you are doing. While November may be the official month to recognize your acts as a family caregiver, every month, and every day, is one in which you make a difference.
If you would just like to find out what information and services are available for your elderly loved one, and for you, call the Council for Older Adults at 740–363-6677 or 800–994-2255. More caregiver information is available on our website at < growingolder.org >.
The Council for Older Adults is a local nonprofit organization responsible for planning, developing, coordinating and providing services for older adults and their families in Delaware County. Among the Council’s services are the county-wide Meals On Wheels program and Senior Choices, a program that provides comprehensive care management and in-home services. Services provided by the Council are made possible in part by funding through our local senior services levy.