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Caregiver Appreciation Month

CaregiverEach year, more than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend, spending an average of 20 hours per week providing care. (National Family Caregivers Association)

Family caregivers are the foundation of long-term care nationwide. November is recognized as National Caregiver Appreciation Month, a month-long tribute to recognize those individuals providing caregiving support to a family member or loved one. Find out how you can get involved and show support for a caregiver you know. A little support will go a long way.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "

- Helen Keller

Respite Care provides much-needed relief

Respite Care provides reliefCaregivers play an important role in keeping the Army Family strong. The Army’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Respite Care program provides a temporary relief for caregivers who are responsible for the regular care of persons with disabilities.

An Exceptional Family Member (EFM) is a child or adult with any physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual disorder that requires special treatment, therapy, education, training or counseling.

A caregiver’s job doesn’t end at 5 p.m. It is a 24-hour job. Respite Care can be provided in the home or another setting.

10 ways to support a caregiver

National Caregiver Month is a time that we recognize and honor those people that are responsible for the daily care of others. A caregiver’s role doesn’t stop at the end of the day, and it is oftentimes a long, lonely journey. But there are ways you can help. Here are some tips for you to get involved and help out a caregiver in your community.

  • Offer a few hours of respite time so they spend time with friends or simply relax.
  • Send a card, flowers or call them to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Go grocery shopping or other errands for them.
  • Treat them to a day at a spa while taking over their responsibilities for the day.
  • Decorate their home for the holidays or offer to address envelopes for their holiday cards.
  • Try to lighten their spirits with a funny movie, audio book or even tickets to a local comedy club.
  • Create a monthly calendar with family photos so they can use it to keep track of appointments and events.
  • Prepare a holiday dinner for a caregiving family in your community.
  • Find information, resources or a support group on the Internet.

Veterans Affairs Caregiver

Need help? Call the National Caregiver Support Line

If you had a number you could call to assist you, as a caregiver, would you use it? The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hopes you will. The VA is encouraging Family members, loved ones, or anyone who provides care for veterans coping with the effects of war, disability, chronic illness, or aging, to call the VA’s toll-free National Caregiver Support Line.

The support line serves as a primary resource and referral center, to provide information on VA and community caregiver support resources and offer emotional support for the caregiver.

Resources for Families and Caregiver

Warrior Transition CommandVisit Warrior Transition Command (WTC) to learn about a wide variety of resources available for Families and Caregivers of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans. The services listed below provide access to broad lists of programs, resources and benefits available to assist Families and Caregivers supporting wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans.