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Millions of people across the country, from family caregivers to nurses to home health aides, dedicate their time and compassion to helping aging, ill and disabled individuals receive health care and support while they remain at home. November is Home Care and Hospice Month, and Americans are encouraged to honor the health care professionals and family members who provide these essential services.

As America’s senior population continues to rise, the need for adult home care providers is increasing. In addition, there is a growing trend towards providing as much care as possible in the home as opposed to an inpatient setting.

The care provided by home health workers, hospice workers and family caregivers is invaluable. Caregivers assist with activities of daily living such as bathing and eating, medication monitoring, skilled nursing tasks, housekeeping, transportation and emotional support.

Hospice care helps individuals facing end-stage illnesses to maintain their comfort and dignity as they approach the end of life. The end of life is one of the most challenging periods faced by individuals and their families, and hospice care workers also care for the spiritual and emotional needs of patients and their families.

During November and throughout the year, individuals are encouraged to recognize the caregivers in their lives. A simple action such as thanking a home health worker or offering respite to a family caregiver can make a huge difference to people who do important work each day.

Here are some helpful resources for caregivers in New York State:

–        New York State Office for the Aging

–        New York City Department for the Aging

–        Westchester County (Caregivers)