Celebrated every November, National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers.
In support of the more than one million Massachusetts residents who provide frequent or daily care to their family members, the Baker Administration has proclaimed November 2022 as Family Caregivers Month in the Commonwealth.
The national observance is led by Caregiver Action Network (CAN), a nonprofit that provides free education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers. CAN selected the 2022 theme, #CaregivingHappens, to acknowledge the reality that family caregiving is not always convenient or expected.
The Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the Commonwealth offers a number of services to help caregivers. This Mass.gov topic page brings together a number of state health and social services in one place to help caregivers across the lifespan find the information they need, based on their unique situation:
Additionally, the Family Caregiver Support Program provides advice and support through the services of a Caregiver Specialist for residents caring for an older loved one, an adult with a disability, or a person of any age living with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. The program also serves grandparents or other kinship relatives caring for a child. Caregiver Specialists serve at regional aging services agencies that cover every community in Massachusetts:
The page linked below includes caregiving tips and resources that caregivers may need for providing care both at home and in other settings:
The majority of family caregivers work full or part-time jobs in addition to their caregiver responsibilities, and many employers are finding creative ways to support their employees. This web page below provides employers resources on how to make the workplace more welcoming for caregivers:
The Executive Office of Elder Affairs distributes a monthly newsletter for caregivers and caregiver specialists in Massachusetts. The November 2020 edition of the newsletter includes resources such as webinars, articles, podcasts, self-care tips and caregiver stories.
In addition to online resources, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs also supports MassOptions, an aging and disability information, and referral call center. MassOptions is a free service that helps older residents, people with disabilities, and caregivers connect with support services in their area.
The service can be reached Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, by calling toll-free 1- 800-243-4636.
The Mass. Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages communities working to become more age and dementia friendly to promote these resources and connect with local councils on aging and aging service access points to learn more.