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Thursday, November 1, 2007

National Family Caregivers Month - A Time to Speak Up for Caregiver Rights

It is Day One of National Family Caregivers Month, November, 2007. At The National Family Caregivers Association you can find ten steps to take to celebrate and speak up for caregivers. The organization encourages "caregivers to take action to improve their own health and well being by speaking up for their rights." Ten ways to celebrate and participate are listed, beginning with an invitation to sign up for free to join the National Family Caregivers Association.

The benefits of membership include receiving free information and support, lessening the isolation, and providing skills for finding community help or acting in healthcare settings.

Other steps you can take include identifying yourself as caregiver when speaking to others, protecting your health, going to a support group, and asking for help when you need it. Striving for flexibility with balancing work and time that you need is another step caregivers can take.

You can also wear a personal medical ID tag identifying yourself as a caregiver so that if something happens to you, others will know that the person you care for needs help.

The site recommends reading the book "A Family Caregiver Speaks Up - It Doesn't Have to Be This Hard" by cofounder Susan Mintz. Additionally, caregivers can let their elected officials know your opinions and contact media to advocate for caregivers.

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