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A Message from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee

2011 National Family Caregivers Month

I join President Obama today in recognizing November, 2011 as National Family Caregivers Month. This is not only an opportunity for us to honor the millions of family members, neighbors and friends who provide care for their loved ones during times of need. It is an important opportunity for caregivers to recognize themselves.

Each day, caregivers take on the ultimate responsibility of providing care to a family member or friend with a long-term, chronic or disabling condition. Ironically, many family members do not see themselves as caregivers, nor do they identify themselves as needing assistance in their role. Instead, they see themselves as loving daughters and sons, spouses and partners, or parents, siblings and friends doing what anyone would do in their shoes.

The Administration on Aging (AoA) has long recognized these sacrifices. Through the Older Americans Act, AoA administers programs and services designed to support older adults and their caregivers. Included among them is the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), which assists family and informal caregivers by providing them respite from their daily tasks and access to services, counseling, training and other supports. We remain committed to administering the programs that make a difference in caregivers’ lives, and working with Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, which makes that possible.

This year, we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month by honoring the incredible commitment, dedication and sacrifice of family caregivers. We encourage each and every caregiver out there to do the same.

To read President Obama’s proclamation, please visit: Presidential Proclamation -- National Family Caregivers Month, 2011