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Our Caregiver's e-Mall is filling up with great stores and a growing number of items just in time for the holidays. Whether you browse and find a book or tape to help you with caregiving, or come across a wonderful gift for a friend or family member, the e-Mall can be your source for easy shopping and gift-giving.

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Posted: November 09, 2005

Professional Caregiving

Let's Celebrate November!

The month of November is a perfect time to get creative with marketing and reaching out to your local community. After all, November is National Family Caregiver’s Month, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Diabetes Month, and Hospice Month, just to name a few! Plus, National Aging in Place Week is November 6-12.

Raising awareness and helping non-professional caregivers is an important way to give something back to your local community.

Hosting luncheons, breakfast meetings, caregiver support groups, and other gatherings is an excellent way to showcase your place of business, and to let people know what kinds of services you offer, not to mention simply but importantly helping others!

Here are some of the exciting things that you can promote in November:

National Family Caregivers Month. NFC Month – observed every November – is a nationally recognized month that seeks to draw attention to the many challenges facing family caregivers, advocate for stronger public policy to address family caregiving issues, and raise awareness about community programs that support family caregivers. NFC Month is a time to thank, support, educate, and celebrate more than 50 million family caregivers across the country. It is also heralded with a presidential proclamation.

This November, the National Family Caregivers Association is introducing a new theme for NFC Month, Caring Every Day. This theme corresponds with a new campaign from NFCA, The Caring Every Day Campaign. This campaign encourages family caregivers to take three steps every day to make their lives easier, improve care and raise awareness about their continued love and commitment. The three steps include: Believe in Yourself. Protect Your Health. Reach Out for Help.

November is also National Alzheimer’s Disease Month. This commemoration was first established by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983. To raise awareness of the support available to individuals and their families, the Alzheimer's Association has launched a new national public education campaign called Make the First Call.

The campaign encourages anyone concerned about Alzheimer's or memory loss to reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association for information and assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 1-800-272-3900.

Dealing with Alzheimer's can be a very isolating experience. People may turn inward and keep it behind closed doors instead of seeking help. If you know someone is impacted by Alzheimer's, make the first call to the association today. And remember, there are more than 4.5 million Americans diagnosed with the disease already.

National Aging in Place Week is November 6-12. Organized by the National Aging In Place Council, in partnership with the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, National Aging In Place Week, this commemoration has two objectives: 

• Build lasting coalitions of allied business professionals in communities across the United States to assist homeowners with pursuing their long-term care needs, and

• Organize educational activities to highlight home and community-based services and products -- including healthcare, transportation and housing -- that enable seniors to successfully age in place.

An overwhelming majority of older Americans want to remain in their homes for as long as possible, but lack awareness of services that make prolonged independent living possible. National Aging in Place Week was scheduled during the second week of November to encourage thinking about this topic while families get together for the holidays. As families gather, it's a perfect time to discuss livability issues for parents and other older relatives. 

Local coalitions include geriatric care managers, occupational therapists, architects, interior designers, remodeling contractors (including those who have obtained the Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation), home healthcare companies, insurance companies and brokerages, reverse mortgage lenders, elder law attorneys, and public and non-profit organizations.  

Through various media (i.e., radio, print, television), coalition organizers hope to encourage seniors, recent retirees, and baby boomers to be proactive in thinking about their future long-term housing and care needs, and to provide them with ideas and information on how to do so.

Homeowners will benefit if professionals from the various disciplines are knowledgeable about one another, and better professional referral networks are established.

As you can see, there are many reasons to celebrate that go way beyond the obvious! Organize your team and educate caregivers across the community. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.


Valerie VanBooven RN, BSN, PGCM, is a registered nurse, professional geriatric care manager, author, and professional speaker. She is a leading expert on long-term care planning and crisis management. Valerie is president of Senior Care Solutions, a private geriatric care management practice in the St. Louis area. Her books include Aging Answers: Secrets to Successful Long-Term Care Planning, Caregiving, and Crisis Management and her website is She can be reached at .

© 2005 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

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