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For Immediate Release

Easterseals Celebrates National Family Caregiver Month

November 4, 2021

Deborah and Sylvia outside Easterseals Adult Day Health ServicesWhen her twin sister passed away, Sylvia Davis felt lost and lonely. The pair were very active sharing their gift of music with their community and it was a tough adjustment. Her younger sister, Deborah Cooke, recognized Sylvia’s need to remain active in the community and found Easterseals Adult Day Health Services. Not only does the program keep Sylvia engaged and social, but it provides Deborah with a much-needed break from caregiving.

“I wanted Sylvia to have something during the day to keep her busy. Easterseals adult day program offers a lot of activities. I knew Sylvia would be interested in the activities and making friends in the program.” Deborah says. “I feel very secure with her in the program and trust the staff who are all friendly. I never have to worry about her care. She is receiving the best care at Easterseals.”

November is National Family Caregivers month. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are more than 53 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. One of the greatest needs of these caregivers is information about services and programs in their community which may be helpful to them as a caregiver for children or adults with disabilities, chronic or terminal illness, or the elderly.

While Sylvia is enjoying activities like exercising, socializing, bingo, art projects and seminars, Deborah is able run errands and enjoy lunch with a friend. Deborah has also taken advantage of the many resources Easterseals Community Outreach Program offers caregivers to keep them connected, such as: caregiver support groups, monthly workshops and an annual Caregiver Conference.

“The day program means the world to me. It gives me the time to have a life of my own outside of caregiving. And Sylvia loves Easterseals,” Deborah says. “I appreciate the caregiver support groups and Caregiver Conference because it gives me a sense of comradery. As a caregiver, you think you are doing this by yourself but with the support group you know you are not. They offer tips to help with different disabilities. It is nice to have friends who understand. There is a big difference between being a caregiver and reading about it.”

Caregiving is rewarding, but can be an exhausting job, especially when the caregiver does not get time to recharge. Respite is an option through Easterseals respite programs, which provide funds to support family caregivers providing care to a person of any age or disability, to take a temporary break from caregiving. Deborah has used this program to take mini vacations throughout the year, which is something she has not been able to do for years.

“The respite grant is a godsend. It is a much-needed program in our community. It gives me the opportunity to get out of the house,” Deborah says.

For more information, contact Easterseals Caregiver Resource Center at 302-221-2087 or resources@esdel.org. The Caregiver Resource Center and Lifespan Respite programs are partially funded by the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities through the National Family Caregiver Support Program, Title III-E of the Older Americans Act.

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