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Missy Thomas: November is National Family Caregiver’s Month

Caregiving often takes many forms.

If you provide things like transportation, housekeeping, personal care, financial support or other similar tasks to family, friends, neighbors and/or loved ones, you are a Caregiver.

According to the National Family Caregivers Association, family caregivers provide 80 percent of our nation’s long-term-care services which currently equals more than $306 billion annually on “free care-giving services” to loved ones.

If you are caring for a loved one, empower yourself first by recognizing how great and honorable your work is.

Second, reach out for the help and the support available to you.

Start by attending Northwoods Caregivers’ Caregiver Support Group from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the PrimeWest Building, 3124 Hannah Ave, Bemidji; this group will meet the first Thursday of every month and will focus on “Dealing with Stress: Caring for the Caregiver” in November. For more information on the Caregiver Support Group, contact Carol at (218) 333-8265.

Another opportunity for you to get the support you deserve is to attend Northwoods Caregivers’ annual Caregiver Conference on Dec. 7.

The conference is free and will include presentations by local speakers on important care giving topics, a variety of resources and educational materials and a complimentary breakfast and lunch.

Free respite care is also available to conference participants.

For more information or to register for the Caregiver Conference by Dec. 5, please call Missy at (218) 333-8266.

We encourage you to take time this month to celebrate who you are, and the importance of what you are doing.

While November may be the official month to recognize your acts as a family caregiver, every month — and every day — is one in which you make a difference!

MISSY THOMAS is the Director of Care Services.