An Entirely New Type of Gathering
For Immediate Release
New York City, NY (November 2, 2010) - This November marks the thirteenth annual celebration of National Family Caregivers month. The celebrations of these cornerstones of care began under President Clinton in attempt to recognize the millions of people providing unpaid care to their family members.
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving there are currently more than 50 million family caregivers. The typical family caregiver provides as much as 20 hours of care every week, many in addition to their careers and other family responsibilities. The need for family caregivers has increased rapidly over the past decade due to an overall increase in the average lifespan as well as the aging baby boomer generation. As a result, more and more families have a family member requiring either long or short term care.
The family caregiver is an essential piece of our society’s care for the sick, wounded and elderly; however, this additional task often adds financial and emotional stress on caregivers and their families. According to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving the annual value of unpaid caregiving in the US is more than $375 billion. This value is higher than the funding set aside for Medicare ($342 billion), Medicaid spending on long term care ($300 billion), nursing home and home health care ($206.6 billion), and paid homecare services ($76.8 billion). Recognizing the worth of care that family members provide helps provide a frame of reference, as well, for the impact on the U.S. economy if family members can no longer continue to provide care.
Although many web-based sites exist to provide family caregivers with information and resources, caregivers continue to express a need for help and support, especially in relation to the physical and emotional stress of the work. In response to this need, a team originating in New York City is creating the Caregiver Village, expected to launch in early 2011.
“Caregiver Village is a unique place on the web, unlike anything currently available for family caregivers,” says Sharon K. Brothers, MSW, Vice President of the company. “Caregivers have told us repeatedly that they’re stressed and frequently exhausted from their caregiving work – on top of their jobs and family responsibilities. Even though they recognize the value of caregiver classes and books, the last thing they want is help that feels like more work.”
Brothers says that caregivers need relaxation and an opportunity to re-energize while gaining encouragement and support from others.
“Caregiver Village will offer an opportunity for people to connect and communicate – something caregivers clearly need today,” says Brothers. “Our experience leading family support groups and working with family caregivers over the years has demonstrated to us the value of peer support – along with the challenges of making that happen in a caregiver’s already over-filled schedule. Offering this support virtually, through the internet, opens accessibility to many, many more individuals.”
Caregiver Village is set to launch publicly in early 2011. During the pre-launch period, caregivers, authors of books written for caregivers and professionals who work with caregivers are invited to join the development team in creating this virtual community. Interested individuals are urged to join by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and become a part of this important experience.