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Message from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee on National Family Caregivers Month, November 2009

I join President Obama in celebrating National Family Caregivers month. Every day, in every state and community caregivers assist friends, relatives, and loved ones with daily tasks, including personal care and homemaking as well as more complex health-related interventions like medication administration and wound care. These selfless, dedicated individuals are the backbone of America’s long term care system.

The Administration on Aging (AoA) is firmly committed to supporting family caregivers. Caregivers across the lifespan must have access to services and supports designed to safeguard their health and emotional well being while offering protections against some of the financial burdens often associated with caregiving. Additionally, caregivers must have access to coordinated systems of services and supports designed to meet their needs at the time they arise.

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and the recent implementation of the Lifespan Respite Care Program have positioned AoA, the Aging Network and the broader home and community-based services network to ensure that caregivers are supported in their daily efforts to keep their loved ones at home, in the community and avoid more costly and restrictive institutional settings. I am committed to working with our Aging Network and other partners at the Federal, state and local levels to improve the quality of life for our nation’s caregivers across the lifespan.

I encourage all of you to participate in the numerous events across the country to celebrate and acknowledge the selfless dedication and commitment of family caregivers.

To read the Presidential proclamation, please visit: