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Letter to the Editor: A 'thank you' to caregivers everywhere

In the spirit of the season, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is joining supporters of National Caregiver Month and giving thanks to the nearly 44 million families that provide unpaid assistance and support to older adults and people with disabilities.

More than ever before, elderly and disabled adults are choosing to receive care from loved ones in their homes instead of moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home. To support this growing trend, many states are increasing funding for caregiver programs to help alleviate the physical, mental, and emotional impact caregiving can have on families.

According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, it is estimated that by 2030 the number of Minnesotans age 65 and older will more than double, rising from 677,000 to 1.4 million. The number of family caregivers will also double, creating an even greater need for caregiver assistance like respite care services.

At Lutheran Social Service, helping caregivers provide quality care for their loved ones, while maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle is critical to ensuring the overall well-being of families. This year, more than 97 volunteers reached out as trained caregivers to provide 9,489 hours of respite to families caring for loved ones with illness or other chronic conditions. Through the Caregiver Respite service, LSS provides caregiver counseling, discussion groups and volunteer training opportunities.

For most elders and disabled individuals, the care they receive enhances their health, well-being and quality of life. For caregiving families, the additional responsibility can be challenging. Caregiver respite provides much needed time off and support from people who understand.

To caregivers everywhere, we thank you for all you do for your families.

LSS Caregiver Support and Respite

LSS provides Caregiver Support and Respite in 20 Minnesota counties, including Otter Tail.