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President Bush declares November 2004 to be National Family Caregivers Month

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President George W. Bush declared November to be National Family Caregivers Month and stated, "by bringing loving support to their loved ones, our nation's family caregivers make our country a better place. During National Family Caregivers Month, we honor their generosity and dedication, and we recognize the vital role of family in the lives of our citizens."

National Family Caregivers Month celebrates the more than 50 million family caregivers across the country providing services valued at $257 billion annually. Family caregivers form an invisible health care work force and literally underpin our health care system by providing approximately 80 percent of all homecare services.

"My administration remains committed to supporting the important contributions of family caregivers," Bush said. "My fiscal year 2005 budget includes tax relief for Americans who need long-term care and individuals who care for these family members in their homes. We will also continue to work with employers, faith-based and community organizations, universities, and national aging organizations to bring critical services such as individual counseling, educational activities, respite care, and family leave policies to more Americans."

The president recognized that sometimes family caregivers sacrifice their own emotional and physical needs to dedicate their time and energy toward serving their loved ones. The proclamation states that, "by taking on this enormous responsibility, they are helping honor life in all its seasons."

This year family caregivers are finding additional support and information to address these needs at www.familycaregiver101.org, a Web site established by the National Family Caregivers Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with Eisai as part of a new public education campaign, "Family Caregiving It's Not All Up To You."

National Family Caregivers Month, sponsored by the National Family Caregivers Association, www.thefamilycaregiver.org, is designed to focus on the many challenges facing family caregivers, draw support for stronger public policy to address family caregiving issues, and raise awareness about community programs that support family caregivers.

National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA), whose mission is to improve the overall quality of life of family caregivers, is a grass roots organization that educates, supports, empowers and speaks up for the millions of Americans caring for chronically ill, aged or disabled loved ones.

NFCA is the only organization dedicated to family caregiving that reaches across the boundaries of different diagnoses, different relationships and different life stages to address the common needs and concerns of all family caregivers.

Reprinted with permission of the National Family Caregivers Association, Kensington, MD, the nation's leading organization for all family caregivers. For more information, call 1-800-896-3650 or visit www.thefamilycaregiver.org.

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