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WHEREAS, family caregivers are essential to the health and well-being of Virginians of any age and disability; and
WHEREAS, family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day and yet the need to recognize and support family caregivers is among the most overlooked challenge facing us today; and
WHEREAS, the value of family caregiving is over $11.7 billion in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, one in five persons in Virginia functions as a caregiver; and
WHEREAS, positive impacts of family caregiving include bringing one closer to care recipients, ensuring they stay in a community setting, and the peace of mind knowing good care is being provided; and
WHEREAS, the federal bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2017 became law on January 22, 2018; and
WHEREAS, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop, maintain, and update an integrated national strategy to support family caregivers that includes training and respite options for family caregivers, ways to increase financial security for family caregivers, and collecting and sharing information about innovative family caregiving models; and
WHEREAS, founded in 2004, the Virginia Caregiver Coalition has over 180 volunteer members across the Commonwealth representing caregivers of individuals of any age and disability; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Caregiver Coalition, in collaboration with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, seeks an integrated state and national strategy to support family caregivers; and
WHEREAS, during the month of November, it is important to recognize the many contributions of family caregivers and encourage our communities, health providers, employers, and others to support their invaluable efforts;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize November 2018 as VIRGINIA FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.