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November is National Caregiver month, which was decreed by our President Donald J. Trump on Oct. 31, 2018.

In his decree paying tribute to family caregivers, President Trump said, “as anchors for their loved ones, our Nation’s family caregivers promote a culture that values the dignity of life at all stages and the importance of family."

President Trump continued by saying, “this month, we acknowledge the dedication and compassion of all those who work to improve their family members’ lives, and we renew our commitment to supporting them in their labor of love.”

President Trump encourages all Americans to acknowledge, and express our gratitude to, all who provide compassionate care to enhance the lives of their loved ones in need.

Throughout November, your LifeSpan Center is celebrating family caregivers and offering two caregiver special events for caregivers to all ages. The programs are free to attend but reservations are required. You may register for either event by calling the LifeSpan Center at 217-639-5150. You do not need to be a resident of Coles County to attend.

In honor of National Family Caregiver Month, your LifeSpan Center’s Family Caregiver Resource Center is partnering with Heritage Woods of Charleston to say thank you to all caregivers on Monday, Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.. Speakers from Heritage Woods will share their personal experiences as caregivers and provide information for caregivers. Heritage Woods will also be providing a free lunch. Seats are limited; please call 217-639-5150 to reserve your spot.

Also in November, the Family Caregiver Resource Center and AARP are hosting the Caregivers, Coffee & Conversations event on Tuesday, Nov. 27 from 9-10:30 a.m.. We invite you to join us to ‘sip’ and relax as you enjoy a comforting cup of coffee and delicious pastries while having conversations with other caregivers and community professionals sharing helpful tips and ideas concerning the physical, emotional, legal and financial pieces of caregiving. This is not a formal presentation; it’s an opportunity for caregivers to sit with community individuals representing agencies and businesses pertinent to caregiving. Partners to be included are from the Alzheimer’s Association, U of I Extension, Odd Fellow Rebekah Harmony Center, YMCA, Lincolnland Hospice, VA Caregiver Support, and an attorney. Doorprizes will be given including a $50 gift card to County Market. Again, please call your LifeSpan Center to register for the event.

Often time’s caregivers do not self-identify with the term “caregiver”. You may be caring for a sick spouse or significant other. It may be your parents. Or perhaps you are looking in on someone who lives alone in your neighborhood, going to the pharmacy or grocery store for a homebound or sick friend. You are a caregiver. Caregiving is something each of us does to some degree every day. It is the natural for most people to provide daily assistance, nurturing, compassion and love to those we share our lives with.

No matter the degree of caregiving involved or your experience as a caregiver, you are welcome to attend any of the programs mentioned. We welcome the opportunity to share information and honor your commitment to your family and those around you. “It is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.” Robert Fulgham.

Two events just for Caregivers at your LifeSpan Center, a Caregiver Appreciation Lunch Monday, Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Caregivers, Coffee & Conversations event on Tuesday, Nov. 27 from 9-10:30 a.m.. Reserve your seat by calling your LifeSpan Center at 217-639-5150.

The LifeSpan Center is located at 11021 E. County Road 800N, Charleston. The telephone number is 217-639-5150. The numbers for the programs are as follows: Coles County Telecare -- 217-639-5166; Family Care Giver Resource Center -- 217-639-5168 and Dial A Ride -- 217-639-5169 or 1-800-500-5505. See you at your LifeSpan Center.

Come join us each weekday at noon for “Lunch at LifeSpan.” Peace Meals are served Monday through Friday at a suggested donation of $3.50. To register, reserve a lunch or learn more, contact Peace Meal at 217-348-1800.

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