Monday, November 14th, 2011

The Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders has officially proclaimed November to be Family Caregivers Month in the county.

Freeholder Director William Chegwidden issued the proclamation on behalf of the board as an expression of gratitude for the support provided by family caregivers to loved ones who are chronically ill, elderly or disabled.

It is estimated that up to 106,000 adults in Morris County are providing some level of unpaid care to a loved one.

Theresa Davis, director of the county’s Division on Aging, Disabilities and Veterans, said the level of care may range from a simple weekly “check-in” telephone call or helping with meals, errands and finances to managing medicines and fulltime care.

The county government and the United Way of Morris County work together in a Caregivers Coalition to address the needs of caregivers, which too often go overlooked, Davis said.

“While caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, it can also present severe financial, health and stress-related problems for the caregiver,” Davis said. “The Caregivers Coalition is a collaborative effort to provide the support family caregivers need to improve their quality of life while they continue to carry out their vital responsibilities.”

According to Davis, guidance is also available from a caregiver coordinator in her division’s Caregiver Support Project. The caregiver coordinator is able to assist caregivers in accessing the services needed for their loved ones and themselves, and to help the caregiver with problem solving, advocacy, and support to sustain them in their role as a caregiver, Davis said.

Information about the Caregivers Coalition can be found at www.uwmorris.org, or by calling 973-993-1160, Ext. 139.

The Morris County Caregiver Support Project may be accessed by calling 1-800-564-4656. The Support Project is located in the Resource Center of the Morris County Division on Aging, Disabilities and Veterans offices, 340 West Hanover Ave., Morris Plains. The Resource Center is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.