Laura Newland, director, DC Office of Aging and Community Living
Laura Newland, director, DC Office of Aging and Community Living

November is National Family Caregiver Month! Just as I did last year, I’ve asked Deputy Director Aurora Delespin-Jones to take over my monthly column and offer some tips, advice, and inspiration to support the many caregivers here in D.C. Having served as a caregiver for five family members, Aurora knows first-hand the day-to-day experiences — the highs, the lows, and the daily balancing act. Her personal experience has driven her to develop programs to support you, wherever you are in your journey. We’re grateful for her leadership, her knowledge, and her willingness to share her personal story with us, so that we can better serve you.  Know that at DACL, caring for our caregivers is an everyday commitment — you’re not alone. Reach out to us at 202-724-5626 to learn more about how we can help.

Guest Columnist Aurora Delespin-Jones, Deputy Director, Department of Aging and Community Living

Aurora Delespin-Jones

Greetings and Happy National Family Caregiver Month! It’s time to celebrate longevity and all things embodied — an equitable portion of health, strength, love, laughter, and everything beautiful for our pleasure. So, in this season of celebration leading into holidays, get up, get loose, and get involved in life! Do not let this season pass. Challenge yourselves to focus on self-care, fun, and respite. Fill your day with fellowship, hobbies, entertainment, and life-learning moments that positively impact your mind, body, and soul. I dare you to try!

My fellow caregivers, the writer of Ecclesiastes states “there is a time and season for all that we do in this life.” Life will happen! Each waking day of our lives, we will experience a past, present, and future of events outside of our making, but to varying degree within our ability to manage. However, if left unchecked, life becomes unmanageable–that is the point you want to avoid at all cost. But how do you do that with so much on your plate, so little time to manage it all, and so large the task with daunting claws? Simply, ask for help!

Between birth and death, searching and giving up, keeping and throwing away, tearing down and building up again, loving and hating, and war and peace, there is time for everything beautiful. A time when in the heart, you know nothing would be better than for you to embrace happy moments and find satisfaction from your labor of love. So, go for it! Seize the season, the harmony, and the help you need to stay strong, as you provide care for others. Everything in this season is necessary and beautifully provided as your reward for a job well done.

The Department of Aging and Community Living (DACL) is here for you. You can trust us to deliver programs, activities, opportunities, and services across a broad spectrum to insulate you from burnout and to help you break out of a cycle of isolation. The below list of DACL caregiver support services are provided for your convenience. and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve you winter, spring, summer or fall. After all, whatever the season, it’s your season!

Homemaker services
Respite care
Supplemental funds
Caregiver institute
Caregiver support groups
Caregiver Information and assistance
Caregiver Education (evidence-based programming)
Alzheimer’s support services
Memory care programs (Club Memory)
Caregiver Case Management
Caregiver Case Assessment

Call DACL at 202-724-5626 to learn more about these services.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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