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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

Nov. 17, 2010

Submit your family's story of love and caregiving

Statewide story project part of National Year of the Family Caregiver

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Aging is asking Ohioans of all ages to submit their stories of love and devotion to the Family Caregiving Story Project. Both caregivers and those who receive assistance from family members and friends are encouraged to send in their personal accounts of the challenges and triumphs that are part of caregiving relationships. The project marks the kickoff of the state's observance of the National Year of the Family Caregiver and is a follow-up to the department's highly successful Great Depression Story Project.

"Family caregivers are the foundation of our long-term care system and come from all walks of life. Each caregiver and care recipient is unique," said Barbara E. Riley, director of the department. "Approximately 1.3 million Ohioans provide some type of care for a loved one who is older or who has a disability, which means there are literally millions of stories to be told - both happy and sad -about how caregiving affects families and enriches lives."

Story submissions should be about 500 words long and include the author's name, location and current age. Mail stories to:

Ohio Department of Aging
Attn: Communications Division
50 W. Broad St. / 9th Floor
Columbus OH, 43215-3363

Stories also may be e-mailed to caregivingstories@age.state.oh.us. Stories should be received by Dec. 31, 2010. The department will use the submissions in its publications and public outreach throughout the year, and a collection of excerpts will be posted on the agency's website in the spring.

In spring 2009, the department asked for stories and advice from the Great Depression from those who lived it. The project received national media attention and generated 313 submissions from all over the state and beyond. A collection of more than 1,000 excerpts from those stories was named a "Notable Government Document" by Library Journal and has been viewed more than 20,000 times on the department's website.

The U.S. Administration on Aging has declared 2011 as the National Year of the Family Caregiver to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Family Caregiver Support Program. Created in November 2000 by amendments to the Older Americans Act, the program helps area agencies on aging provide services, supports and training to assist family caregivers, as well as provide choice and improve the quality of life for care recipients.

About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging provides leadership for the delivery of services and supports that improve and promote quality of life and personal choice for older Ohioans, adults with disabilities, their families and their caregivers. Working with 12 area agencies on aging and other community partners, the department offers home- and community-based Medicaid waiver programs such as PASSPORT, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.