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Seattle City Council to host forum on caregiver support programs

Councilmember Nick Licata

Seattle City Council to host forum on caregiver support programs

SEATTLE —Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, the Seattle Human Services Department and the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging and Disability Services invites downtown employees and other members of the public to a special forum on caregiver stress and support services on Tuesday, July 31, at noon.

"The forum offers an opportunity for caregivers to learn that they are not alone, help is available, and they need to maintain their own health and quality of life in order to provide quality care for a loved one," said Councilmember Licata, who provides care for his adult stepson who has permanent disabilities. "We hope that city and county employees and others who work downtown will come to the forum, or watch it later on online."

In 2007, King County was home to an estimated 210,000 unpaid family caregivers—more than 14 percent of the adult population—according to a CDC/ Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. One in four spent 40 hours or more per week as a caregiver.

"Given the aging baby boom, the number and percentage is likely to be much higher today," said Councilmember Licata. "Other studies have found that stress is their #1 concern. Caregiving—as rewarding as it can be—can also be the most stressful experience a person ever faces."

Fortunately, help is available. The Seattle Human Services Department contracts with 10 agencies to provide caregiver support services like information, referrals, coaching, counseling, support groups, training, and respite care. Most services are free to the caregiver. Respite care is provided on a fee basis.

"Unpaid caregivers are really the backbone of our long-term care system," said Councilmember Licata. "Without their support, many more of our family members, friends, and neighbors would live in costly institutions. With support, they can live relatively independently in their homes and in their communities of choice."

For more information on caregiver support programs, visit www.kccaregiver.org. Details of the July 31 forum follow:

Councilmember Nick Licata
Seattle Human Services Department and Advisory Council on Aging and Disability Services representative
Several caregiver support program clients

A brown bag forum on caregiver stress and support services

Tuesday, July 31, 2012, noon – 1:30 p.m.

City Council Chambers, Second Floor
Seattle City Hall
600 Fourth Avenue, Downtown Seattle

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