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November is National Family Caregivers Month
United Way Caregivers Coalition celebrates with three events for caregivers
Each November United Way of Northern New Jersey celebrates National Family Caregivers Month to recognize the importance of thanking, supporting, and empowering unpaid family caregivers. And, as in previous years, United Way Caregivers Coalition will be holding special events this month that offer information, connections, resources, and support to the caregivers in our northern New Jersey communities.
There are an estimated 260,000 family caregivers in our region who provide invaluable support to a parent, spouse, child, or sibling who is living with a disability, chronic illness, or mental illness. These unpaid caregivers save billions in medical care expenses and contribute countless hours to support their loved ones – often jeopardizing their own health and security in the process. They give of themselves and are the backbone of our community and health care system. As President Obama said during this year’s proclamation, "…let the quiet perseverance of our family caregivers remind us of the decency and kindness to which we can all aspire."
United Way Caregivers Coalition is working to improve conditions in our communities so these family caregivers receive the support necessary to care for a loved one and also live healthy, productive lives. Launched in 2005 in Morris County, our membership has grown to more than 1,600 members with the expansion of the Coalition into North Essex and Somerset counties last November, and Warren and Sussex counties this summer.
But there are many more caregivers who can benefit from joining the Coalition. If you know someone who is a caregiver – full-time, part-time, or even long distance – let them know about one of our November events.
Most family caregivers experience difficulty finding time for themself. The United Way Caregivers Coalition in North Essex is responding to this need by presenting a free event to share techniques for a healthy life while caring for a loved one. All caregivers are welcome to join us on Saturday, December 8 (due to Hurricane Sandy this event was rescheduled from the original November 3 date) from 9:30am to 12:30pm at Alumni Theater, Caldwell College (use the Ryerson Avenue and Bloomfield Avenue entrance) in Caldwell.
Caregivers can receive tips on healthy cooking from Alma Schneider, founder of Take Back the Kitchen, easy exercising from Eydie Shapiro, certified fitness instructor; and the power of a positive mind from Ed Tseng, author of Game, Set, Life. Plus, get information from and interact with more than a dozen organizations that support caregivers. Complimentary on-site respite is available for those caregivers needing to bring their loved one.
Space is limited so please register here or call Deborah Day at 973.746.4040, x209.
Caregivers Munch and Learn
Caregivers tell us that one of their biggest needs is for easily accessible and accurate information. To help accomplish this United Way Caregivers Coalition in Somerset County is celebrating National Family Caregivers month by providing a free caregiving workshop for local caregivers.
Join us on Tuesday, November 13 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at Bridgewater Public Library, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater, for a light meal and workshop about the challenges that both care recipients and caregivers encounter when they are faced with chronic illness. Participants will learn coping mechanisms and communication skills (with the care recipients and within the family).
Space is limited. Please email Stephanie Mamary or call 908.253.6534 to reserve a space.
An Evening for Caregivers
Each United Way Caregivers Coalition in our area has monthly meetings to provide support, connections, and information to caregivers. Many caregivers cannot attend due to work or caregiving commitments. As a result, last year, Morris County moved their November monthly meeting to the evening and more than 120 members attended. This year marks the 2nd Annual Evening for Caregivers to be held on Wednesday, November 14, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center, 60 North Jefferson Road in Whippany.
Caregivers and service providers are invited to come together for a light dinner followed by the United Way Caregivers Coalition November meeting which will feature special guest Ed Tseng, an internationally-recognized consultant on the psychology of peak performance, and a special Morris County Freeholders Proclamation for Family Caregivers.
Complimentary on-site respite is available for those caregivers needing to bring their loved one. Space is limited. Please register here or call Stephanie Mamary at 973.993.1160, x139.
“We have now developed a network for family caregivers throughout northern New Jersey,” said Carol DeGraw, United Way community impact manager. “But there are thousands more caregivers in our area that could benefit by joining the United Way Caregivers Coalition.”
Please help us to help them by spreading the word about the Coalition and our events, and join us in supporting caregivers throughout northern New Jersey. Click here to learn more.