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<sh>Share the Caring

Alexandria celebrates National Family Caregiver Month.

<bt>Are you one of the nearly 44.4 million unpaid caregivers in the United States? If so, you are truly not alone. Each of us is likely to be a caregiver at some point in our lives, either for our children, our parents or someone else we care about. Being a caregiver, particularly for an older person, can be one of the most rewarding experiences we have, but it can also be one of the most challenging and exhausting experiences as well.

One of the most important things caregivers can do is to take care of themselves and to take time for themselves. Take the time to learn about caregiving, and get to know other caregivers. It will make a positive difference in your life, and in the life of the person you care for.

To help support Alexandria's caregivers, several events are planned in the area. Here are just a few:

* Wednesday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m.: “The Do's and Don'ts of Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease,” and the popular and very entertaining skit presentation of “Older Adults and Crime Prevention,” by the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney and the Alexandria Police Department. Sponsored by the Alexandria Office of Aging and Adult Services, and held at the Alexandria Adult Day Services Center, 1108 Jefferson St., the program is free. For more information, call 703-838-4224.

* Tuesday, Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m.: “Ask an Expert: Medicare Updates.” Sponsored by the Arlington Agency on Aging and held at 3033 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. The program is free. For more information, call 703-228-1700.

* Thursday, Nov. 18, 9:30 am: “Give Care, Take Care: Maintaining Healthy Family Relationships During Caregiving.” Sponsored by the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging and held at the Springfield Golf and Country Club. Fee is $10, which includes a buffet lunch. For more information, call 703-324-5425.

The Alexandria Office of Aging and Adult Services would like to thank all of Alexandria's Caregivers. What would we do without you? Together, we can “Share the Caring.” For information on services available through our office, call 703-838-0920.

<b1>— Debbie Ludington

<b2>Office of Aging and Adult Services