November is National Family Caregivers Month: Celebrate our Heros

November 3, 2014 | by Stacey Burton, M.Ed., CDMS, CRC
 

November is National Family Caregivers Month, when we honor those who dedicate themselves daily to caring for their loved ones, sacrificing sleep, finances, time, and often, their own health.

 

According to statistics provided by the National Family Caregivers Association, more than 50 million people in the U.S. provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend in any given year. The value of the services they provide for “free” amounts to 306 billion dollars a year.

 

Fortunately, there are state and federally-funded programs that offer respite relief for the care-giver, and concerns for the aged continue to gain legislative attention. The enactment of the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000 (Public Law 106-501) established an important new program, the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP). The NFCSP offers adult day-care programs, in-home respite care options and additional services which include assistive devices.

 

There is also the Aged and Disabled Adult Medicaid HCBS Waiver, which offers the same provisions as the latter, but with different eligibility criteria. Florida offers Respite for Elders in Everyday Families (RELIEF), administered at the state level by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

 

Despite these options and programs, many family members remain overwhelmed and under-resourced in providing care. So it is with the greatest appreciation, we honor family caregivers throughout the country for their tireless support and love.

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