Department of Elder Affairs Announces Florida Family Caregiver Month
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Department of Elder Affairs is honored to show appreciation to all family caregivers across Florida by announcing November 2016 as Florida Family Caregiver Month. Governor Rick Scott issued a proclamation in recognition, and it can be found online at www.elderaffairs.org.
“Caregivers are our family members, friends, coworkers, and neighbors who selflessly work hard day in and day out to provide care and comfort to those in need,” said Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Jeffrey S. Bragg. “Florida Family Caregiver Month is a time to raise awareness of programs and honor the caregivers who do so much for our families and communities.”
In communities across Florida, family members provide care for their loved ones of all ages who have a special need, disability, or chronic illness. There are approximately 2.8 million caregivers in Florida who provide a total amount of care that is valued at nearly $30 billion annually. According to studies from the Department of Elder Affairs, the average caregiver provides 78 hours of care in a given week, 23% of caregivers provide around-the-clock care and supervision in a given week, and 43% of caregivers report having to quit their job or retire early as a result of caregiving responsibilities.
The Department of Elder Affairs offers support and respite for caregivers through programs like RELIEF (Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families), the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative, and the National Family Caregiver Support Program, to name a few. Additionally, the Department and Florida Lifespan Respite Alliance have recently launched a federally funded family lifespan respite project to make respite resources more available and accessible to caregivers in Florida.
For more information about these programs, please your local Area Agency on Aging by calling the statewide, toll-free Elder Helpline at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337), or contact the Department of Elder Affairs directly at 850-414-2000.
The Department of Elder Affairs, the State Unit on Aging, serves seniors as they live, contribute, and build legacies in Florida. For more information, please visit elderaffairs.org