November is National Family Caregivers Month

Volunteers Assisting the Elderly joins hundreds of volunteer caregiving organizations across the nation in celebrating the month of November as National Family Caregivers Month.
“For more than 30 years, Volunteer Caregiving has been providing free services in communities throughout the nation to seniors with chronic care issues,” said Judy Tabert, chair of the National Volunteer Caregiving Network. “CAREGIVERS in Ventura County is one of several hundred of our organizations that offers vital assistance through its leadership as part of the care continuum in the community.”

Locally, CAREGIVERS serves 500 seniors who are regularly enrolled in the program. Thanks to support from 450 volunteers, seniors have access to a variety of support including trips to the grocery story, help prepping a meal, friendly visits, yard work and minor repairs around the house. “When we met the volunteer who would be matched with my mom, all I could say is ‘Wow!'” said Marika Gapper. “I’m confident that we have many wonderful days ahead as [her volunteer caregiver] visits and puts joy and encouragement into my mom’s life. This is a great organization!”
Volunteer Caregiving was launched in 1984 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Faith in Action. Today, hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours and volunteer miles have been donated to seniors and persons with disabilities. The national movement is based on a value system of volunteerism boasting volunteer caregivers who have contributed years of dedicated service. “Some of the relationships created through volunteer caregiving go back 30 years!” said NVCN Executive Director Rhonda Anderson.

The mission is not rooted in medical or personal care, but rather neighborly deeds like changing a light bulb or helping repair a leaky faucet–all at no cost to the needy recipient. “In 1984, Volunteer Caregiving was a pioneering response to the impending Silver Tsunami,” Tabert said. “Today, we are quietly going about our mission, and we do this because donors in the community know that we augment critical services that ensure independent living.”

The National Volunteer Caregiving Network (NVCNetwork.org) represents independent chapters of volunteer caregiving throughout the United States, from Hawaii to Boston to Florida to Oregon. For more information, contact your local organization, CAREGIVERS, at (805) 658-8530 or visit www.vccaregivers.org to volunteer, donate or refer a senior.

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