Celebrate National Family Caregivers Month!

Logo of the National Family Caregivers Month designed by the Administration for Community Living

November 8, 2021
By DD Council Staff


National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers.

The national observance is led by Caregiver Action Network (CAN), a nonprofit organization that provides free education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers. CAN announced the 2021 theme, #CaregiverAnd which encourages family caregivers to celebrate the passions and interests that enrich their lives. 

“While the opportunity to provide care to a loved one can be a blessing and a source of connection, it often requires sacrifice,” stated President Biden in his proclamation recognizing November as National Family Caregiver Month. “Millions of Americans have sacrificed jobs and altered careers in order to perform caregiving duties.” The President also noted that too many Americans who need caregiving support struggle with the high costs of caring for a family member in need or providing long-term care for people with disabilities or older adults.

Earlier this year, the RAISE (Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage) Family Caregiving Advisory Council, with support from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, released its initial report to Congress. This report outlines the challenges faced by family caregivers, federal programs currently available to support them, and provides 26 recommendations for better supporting family caregivers. The recommendations will form the foundation of the National Family Caregiving Strategy, which will include action steps to increase recognition and support for family caregivers. Read the report and its recommendations.

In addition to supporting RAISE, the Administration on Community Living oversees several other caregiver support programs, including:

In Ohio

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) recognizes the key role that families play in supporting their loved ones with developmental disabilities. You can find resources to share with families and ways to connect with families in the Family section of the DODD website.

Here at the Ohio DD Council, we are aware of the challenges that Ohio families are facing: a shrinking home health care and direct support professional workforce; lack of meaningful family support; barriers to accessing doctors and medical treatments, transportation issues and more. Council continues to look at ways to partner with other state organizations through collaboration and our grant projects to strengthen family support to Ohio's families who have a member with a disability.

The Ohio DD Council commends the family caregivers who are working hard to keep their loved ones safe at home and in the community.

Resources

The Ohio DD Council has several online publications that may be helpful to families, including:

For a list of all publications, go to the Publications section of our website. See also our comprehensive list of links to other organizations at https://ddc.ohio.gov/Resource-Library/Links-to-Resources#family.

BridgingApps, a project of the Easter Seals of Houston, has created a list of apps to manage some daily tasks of caregiving. Check out their list at https://bridgingapps.org/apps-for-caregivers/.  

You can also find helpful information and tips for caregivers from the Caregiver Action Network at https://caregiveraction.org/national-family-caregivers-month.