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WHEREAS, family caregivers are essential to the health and well-being of Virginians of any age and disability; and
WHEREAS, more than one million family caregivers in Virginia help their loved ones to live independently and provide 956 million hours of unpaid care, valued at $11.8 billion annually; and
WHEREAS, positive impacts of family caregiving include closer ties to loved ones, increased access to services in community settings, and the peace of mind knowing quality care is being provided; 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 2019-2023 Virginia State Plan for Aging Services outlines a goal of improving access to resources and services that support family caregivers; and
WHEREAS, in 2018, the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services received a Lifespan Respite Grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living to provide respite vouchers to family caregivers of individuals with dementia and grandparents or relative caregivers providing care to a child or an individual 19 to 59 years of age with a severe disability; and
WHEREAS, founded in 2004, the Virginia Caregiver Coalition has over 200 volunteer members across the Commonwealth and works to improve the experience of caregiving through education, advocacy, and access to resources; 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 efforts;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize November 2019 as VIRGINIA FAMILY CAREGIVERS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.