November is a wonderful time to celebrate all that family, friends, neighbors, faith groups, and others do to help us allow older persons to remain in their own homes! At Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging and throughout the aging network, those "saints" are referred to as caregivers. Most of us just help older persons because it is what we are supposed to do but often those tasks grow as that person continues to grow older. That is why Congress authorized the National Family Caregiver Support Program several years ago. Through that program and those funds, we are able to help caregivers continue to support and care for those important persons in their lives.
I have been sharing our "There's No Place Like Home" approach to funding needs, service needs, and a general education to elected officials and the general public that this is truly what older persons want and need. Caregivers play a critical role in making this happen. There are organizations that place a monetary value on anticipated donated hours of support. Personally, I put a "personal" value on the donated hours of support the importance of social interaction and informal support systems can never be replaced by a program or a paid service. Each of you that provide a telephone call, mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, a ride to church, picking up a few groceries, a visit to just chat are irreplaceable!
Again, we know that Dorothy had it right There IS no place like home.and without caregivers, staying home would not be possible for the many, many older persons who so deserve to stay where they want to be. During National Family Caregiver Month I would like to thank you for being a caregiver!
Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging