Caregiver Awareness Month – NOV 2013

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November is National Family Caregivers Awareness Month


“This month and throughout the year, let the quiet perseverance of our family caregiversremind us of the decency and kindnessto which we can all aspire.” -President Barack Obama, 2011 Proclamation

National Family Caregivers Month is a nationally recognized month observed every November 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’s a time to thank, support, educate, empower and celebrate more than 50 million family caregivers across the country.

You are a caregiver if you provide social or physical support to an aging relative or friend or to a person with a disability.


In addition to providing emotional and physical support, family caregivers often give much more to those in their care, according to the National Family Caregivers Association. Nearly 40 percent of family caregivers reduce their work hours or quit their jobs, plus spend an average of more than $5,500 of their own money annually to help provide the care they give. Yet amazingly, unpaid family caregivers provide 90 percent of the long-term care provided in the U.S.

This November, PDF Recognizes Care Partners as Essential to Care and the Cause

During November, National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize the care partners who are essential not only to care … but also to the cause.

As you know, care partners and family members play a key role in the care of people with Parkinson’s. But they are doing so much more to help the entire Parkinson’s community. Here’s how PDF can offer support for all the ways that care partners help the cause.

Caring through Research: Like people with Parkinson’s, care partners are essential to changing research. In fact, many of PDF’s Research Advocates are care partners who are working on the frontlines with researchers. We invite care partners to apply for spots at our next Parkinson’s Advocates in Research Learning Institute by Monday, December 16. Learn more here.

Caring through Education: Care partners are essential to educating others about Parkinson’s, whether their loved ones or local support groups. They are invited to take advantage of PDF’s free educational programs, including our PD ExpertBriefing: Caregiving and Parkinson’s: Laying the Groundwork for the Road Ahead, taking place Tuesday, November 19 at 1:00 PM ET. Care partners can also contact our HelpLine at (800) 457-6676 and order educational materials (including several designed for care partners) by visiting our website here.

Caring through Support: Care partners have more passion for the Parkinson’s cause than most. That’s why care partners are some of our most dedicated fundraisers, running 10ks and hosting bake sales in honor of loved ones. We invite care partners to join our PDF Champions team, Through which they’ll have the support and resources they need to maximize their impact. Learn more here.

Would you like to honor a care partner in your life? Send a free eCard here or give the gift of a 2014 Creativity and Parkinson’s calendar by ordering here.

*This year’s PD ExpertBriefing series has been made possible by an educational grant from AbbVie, Inc., and Teva Neuroscience.

So this November, be sure to remember and recognize the family caregivers you know.

10 Caregiving Tips for Caregiver Awareness Month

Here is a list of the first 10 of 50 tips I agreed to provide in support of this being National Caregivers Month.

First of Five (Sets of 10) Tips:

  1. Keep a one-page Medical Information Sheet on you caree, which includes medical and insurance information, allergies, emergency contacts, surgeries, etc. in your car or purse always.
  2. Make up a binder with tabs by month (works best for me). As you receive copies of prescriptions, discharge paperwork, appointment notes, phone call notes, etc. place them in chronological order in the binder. Take this with you to appointments. Keep “Updated” copies of your medical information sheet in the front so you always have it.
  3. If your caree is with another family member often or attends a day program like Robert, make sure they also have a copy of the Medical Information Sheet. Easier than them calling you and having to transpose the list over a cell phone.
  4. Take a First Aid or CPR class to feel more comfortable handling the care needed.
  5. If you don’t have a stop watch available when taking the pulse, monitoring a seizure or other need for one, use the “clock” app on your phone. Most of them have a clock, timer, stopwatch, etc.
  6. Set up a support system with family members, other family caregivers, either in your community or online.
  7. Research your caree’s illness. The more you know the better a caregiver you are. I’ve been a caregiver and caree for 21+ years and I’m still learning about my illness.
  8. You can’t step in and know everything. Give yourself a break, you very well may make a few mistakes. I know I did, but you will find out how to repair them.
  9. To “every” appointment take a list of questions.
  10. Take five minutes for yourself, whenever possible.

Special Thank You to all the dedicated people out there that call themselves or those that don’t even know they are, Caregivers, Thank You.
“Pain Without Humor Is Just Painful”

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