Saturday November 8, 2008


Dear Blog:


Chad’s been on vacation this past week. The 3 of us took a little out of town daytrip to Western NY yesterday. A nice relaxing fun day. We came home to a large envelope in the mail from Edward G. Rendell, the Governor of Pennsylvania. I had written to him about November being National Caregiver’s Month. He sent a signed official statement Proclamation on parchment paper with an original gold embossed seal. I’m glad he has recognized the need to acknowledge caregivers around the State. My email to him didn’t go in vain.


This morning I learned that the White House is home to a swimming pool, a bowling ally and a movie theater.


I’ve received copious emails from caregivers of friends, family members and loved ones suffering from one type of dementia or another. The positive message from the majority of them is that they’ve been helped from the October 30th blog. I’m going to post that page again today.


Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, because it is an acknowledgement of the difficulty of the situation at hand. Sometimes that is not always an easy thing to do; however, we owe it to ourselves and our families to really try. You will both be better off if you learn to:


  • Put guilt aside.
  • Overcome negative self talk and insecurities.
  • Ask for the help you need and accept help that is offered.
  • Recognize and accept that you have a RIGHT to time off.

It has been said, “It takes a village to raise a child,” the same holds true for family caregiving. It is far too important of a job to go it alone. Reach out and ask for HELP!

National Family Caregivers Month (NFC Month) — observed every November — is a nationally recognized month that seeks to draw attention to the many challenges facing family caregivers, advocate for stronger public policy to address family caregiving issues, and raise awareness about community programs that support family caregivers. It is a time to thank, support, educate, and advocate for the more than 50 million family caregivers across the country.

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate National Family Caregivers Month 2008

There are many ways to celebrate family caregivers and to take action and communicate the important messages of NFC Month. The following are ideas and guides to help you create a successful National Family Caregivers Month in your community:

  1. Offer a few hours of respite time to a family caregiver so they spend time with friends, or simply relax.
  2. Send a card of appreciation or a bouquet of flowers to brighten up a family caregiver’s day.
  3. Encourage local businesses to offer a free service for family caregivers through the month of November.
  4. Participate in the National Family Caregivers Association’s FREE national teleclass to learn how to communicate more effectively with health care professionals. The 2 free one hour sessions will be November 6 and 13 at 2 p.m. ET. For more information Click here.
  5. Help a family caregiver decorate their home for the holidays or offer to address envelopes for their holiday cards.
  6. Offer comic relief! Purchase tickets to a local comedy club, give a family caregiver your favorite funny movie to view, or provide them with a book on tape.
  7. Find 12 different family photos and have a copy center create a monthly calendar that the family caregiver can use to keep track of appointments and events.
  8. Offer to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for a caregiving family in your community, so they can just relax and enjoy the holiday.
  9. Take a few minutes to write a letter encouraging your mayor, county executive, or governor to issue a local proclamation establishing November as National Family Caregivers Month. Contact information for state government officials can be found at
  10. Help a family caregiver find information and resources on the internet or to locate a local support group.

Do you know that family caregivers provided more than 306 billion dollars of caregiving services each year, helping chronically ill and disabled loved ones deal with life’s basic functions? Do you know that 78% of seniors that need care receive it from family members, over 80% of all homecare services are provided by family, and that businesses lose as much as 34 billion annually due to employees’ need to provide care for loved ones 50 years of age and older?

This is the perfect time for a story about family caregivers and the contribution they are making to our community. This story will speak to everyone because today the concerns of caregivers have moved from being a private family situation to a societal issue. Today policy makers, employers, insurers, and healthcare professionals are all addressing these issues.

Use humor with people around you — it will make you laugh and your spirit will bloom!






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