MDA Observes National Family Caregivers Month

Society hasn't always appreciated the vital role fulfilled by family caregivers. It’s only been in the past 20 years that family caregivers — now more than 65 million strong — have been officially acknowledged. Every November, National Family Caregivers Month is observed in America as a time to thank, support, educate and empower these hardworking, creative and loving individuals.

Whether spouses, parents, siblings, children, friends or colleagues, caregivers are valued members of the MDA community. The Association has long honored and supported the selfless, essential work they do. During November, a number of local MDA offices will offer special programs for caregivers. Be sure to check with your local office to see what’s happening in your area. 

MDA’s myMuscleTeam webinar

One way MDA supports caregivers is through myMuscleTeam, a free online care coordination service designed to help harness the strength, support and assistance of family and friends. On Wednesday, Nov. 7, MDA will host a free one-hour webinar about myMuscleTeam that will demonstrate how easy it is to set up a private and secure online volunteer community.

Webinar attendees will learn about myMuscleTeam features such as the care coordination calendar, where caregivers can post chores, errands, meal preparation and transportation needs so that community members can sign up to help. In addition, attendees will hear from the father of a man living with neuromuscular disease who will share how myMuscleTeam has made a difference to his family.

See the box below for details about how to attend the event.

Caregiver e-cards and resources

Beginning Nov. 1 and running throughout the month, MDA’s Caregivers page features a link to e-card thank-you notes that can be emailed directly to special caregivers. The cards, which are designed to be customized with a private message, feature art from the MDA Art Collection.

In addition, the MDA Resources for Caregivers page provides a number of valuable links to information and services.

Resources include links to MDA caregiver articles, such as Caregivers: Teaching Independence; Caregiving Technology Offers Safety, Security and Peace of Mind; and Caregiver Exercises.

There also are links to a number of other MDA publications for caregivers, such as Meals for Easy Swallowing and the MDA ALS Caregiver’s Guide (which many non-ALS caregivers also have found useful). 

The long list of links to non-MDA resources for caregivers includes the National Respite Care Network, Share the Care and the National Caregivers Library, which provides articles relating to legal matters, housing and transportation issues, end-of-life decisions, care facilities and more.

MDA knows what a tough job caregiving can be, and wants you to know that — no matter what time of year — the Association is here to help.

Date and Time: Wed., Nov. 7, 2012, 4 p.m. EST (1 p.m. PST)

Event address for attendees:http://ow.ly/eK4uk

Event password: MDAwebex1

Call-in number: (650) 429-3300 in the U.S. and Canada. (Note: Standard long-distance charges apply.)

Teleconference Access code: 660 736 916

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