November is National Family Caregiver Month and over 500,000 Minnesotans care for older adults, doing everything from shopping to bathing to driving to medical appointments. Families, friends and neighbors provide 91 percent+ of all long-term care needed by older adults. National Family Caregivers Month is a time to honor and recognize the many family and friends in our communities who care for older adults.
The estimated value of family caregiving provided to seniors in Minnesota is over $4.58 billion per year. For every 1% decline in the proportion of care provided by families, the cost to the state of Minnesota is $30 million per year. According to the Minnesota Board on Aging supporting and expanding this valuable resource is a critical public investment.
Since many family caregivers don’t recognize themselves as a caregiver, they often don’t seek services that are available to help them care for their family member and for themselves. Education, training and respite programs for caregivers are available to meet the demand. The goal is to help family caregivers strengthen their ability to advocate for, manage and coordinate care, while maintaining personal goals and a level of wellness themselves.
For more information about November is National Family Caregiver Month call the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433. Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or chat with a specialist online during those hours at www.MinnesotaHelp.info.