2015 White House Conference on Aging

2015 White House Conference on Aging logo


Nora Super and others at Listening Sessions 2014

5. November 2015 14:40
by Nora Super

Taking Care of Family Caregivers

5. November 2015 14:40 by Nora Super | 0 Comments

Each November, we take time to honor our veterans and reflect on what we are most thankful for. During this time of year, we can’t help but recognize the important role our families and loved ones play in our lives, and the especially important role family caregivers play in the lives of those who need a little extra love and care. It’s only apropos that President Obama proclaimed November as National Family Caregiver Month. 

This proclamation builds on President Obama’s remarks at the White House Conference on Aging in July. “One of the best measures of a country is how it treats its older citizens and people living with disabilities, and my Administration is dedicated to lifting up their lives and ensuring those who care for them get the support and recognition they deserve,” the President proclaims. “During National Family Caregivers Month, let us honor their contributions and pledge to continue working toward a future where all caregivers know the same support and understanding they show for those they look after.”

Supporting family and other informal caregivers was a major focus of the input we received as part of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Participants noted that the emotional and financial needs of family caregivers must be addressed and that supportive programs such as respite relief or training are increasingly important. Perhaps more than any other issue, the need to support informal caregivers arose in all our our issue areas and in all of our public engagements from coast to coast. While taking care of a loved one is important, it’s equally important for caregivers to remember to take care of themselves. 

The theme for this year’s National Family Caregiver Month is R-E-S-P-I-T-E: Care for Caregivers. Caregivers can’t thrive unless they take care of themselves, too. Caregivers should remember to:

Rest and relax;



Programs that can help you;


Take five; and


The Caregiver Action Network has some great resources on their website to help family caregivers. Additionally, WHCOA compiled a list of Federal resources for caregivers past spring.

As I retweeted  from @TheMightySite, “caregivers are not superheroes [because] superheroes don’t get weary beyond their breaking point… But caregivers can. Compassion fatigue is not just real, it’s devastating – emotionally, physically, and relationally. Caregivers are ordinary people who have been thrust into situations requiring extraordinary strength, courage, faith, and resiliency.”

During Family Caregivers Month, let’s be sure to show appreciation and admiration for all that they do to improve the quality of life for older Americans and people with disabilities. 

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