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WHEREAS, a caregiver is an unpaid or paid person who helps another individual with an impairment that may limit his or her activities; and
WHEREAS, caregivers have been a vital part of the long-term health care in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, the need for caregiving is growing and the single most valuable support to the health and well-being of older Virginians, Virginians with disabilities, and minor children is the network of formal and informal caregiving provided by family, friends, and paid support; and
WHEREAS, caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care, and nearly 1 in 4 caregivers spend 41 hours or more per week providing care; and
WHEREAS, approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults (aged 18+) with a disability or illness; and
WHEREAS, in Virginia, 14,372 individuals with developmental disabilities receive paid support via the Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver, and there are many more who are cared for by unpaid caregivers; and
WHEREAS, this event is an opportunity for formal and informal caregivers nationwide to gather for education and celebration of the health care services provided to those under their care; and
WHEREAS, National Caregivers Appreciation Day acknowledges the important role caregivers play in community member's lives;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 21, 2020, as NATIONAL CAREGIVERS APPRECIATION DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.