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United Way Receives Essex County Grant to Expand Caregiver Education

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Unpaid family caregivers are the unsung heroes of our health care system.  Juggling caregiving duties with personal and professional responsibilities, caregivers often sacrifice their own health and finances as a result.

United Way of Northern New Jersey wants to remind caregivers that they are not alone in their struggle.  A United Way Caregivers Coalition has been established in each of our five counties, providing access to valuable education, information, and resources that can help them in managing their caregiver roles.

And now, with the help of a $16,000 grant from the Essex County Division of Senior Services, the Coalition will be able to offer caregivers the ability to access education and supports from their homes.   

Through this grant, the Coalition will be able to videotape a series of educational programs this year.  The videos will be available for free both online and on DVDs in order to reach those caregivers unable to attend programs in person. 

"This grant is about making life easier for overwhelmed and stressed caregivers," said Deborah Day, United Way Caregivers Coalition coordinator in North Essex.  "We know that caregivers struggle to manage their caregiving duties with their own personal and work responsibilities daily.  United Way is thankful that Essex County sees the value in providing educational resources that caregivers can access easily from their homes."

2013 Educational Series Kicks Off March 19

The 2013 series will include four separate sessions covering a range of topics, including the basics of caregiving and legal and health care coverage issues.

The first in this series of seminars to be videotaped, "Caregiving 101: Where to Start", will be held on March 19 at the Verona Community Center, beginning at 6:00pm.  The seminar is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.  A light dinner, compliments of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, will be provided.  DVDs of the session will be available at a later date upon request from United Way.

Following the model of a successful six-year coalition in Morris County, Coalitions have been established in North Essex, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties.  Across the region, the Coalitions boast a total of 1,500 members.  Each month, the coalitions of caregivers and representatives of service providers, government agencies, hospitals, and faith-based congregations meet in their communities to share resources, hear educational presentations, and work on projects that improve the quality of life for caregivers.

In addition to the monthly meetings, educational workshops are provided throughout the year, as well as an annual conference and a Pathways for Caregivers guide, a free publication that provides information, support, and resources for caregivers.

To reserve a seat at the seminar or to request a DVD of the Caregiving 101 seminar, email Deborah Day or call 973.746.4040, x209. 

For more information about the United Way Caregivers Coalition in your community visit: www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/CaregiversCoalition.

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