During a special proclamation signing yesterday at the Governor’s Office conference room in recognition of the selfless sacrifices of the caregivers of the CNMI, acting governor Ralph DLG Torres, in conjunction with President Obama’s 2014 proclamation, declared the month of November as the 1st National Family Caregivers Month.
Diana Camacho of the Ayuda Network Inc. and Commonwealth Respite Service Program, reiterated President Obama’s message on the importance of caregivers, whose contributions are often overlooked, but continue to support those affected by injury, illness, and disability.
CRSP’s Monica Manalo expressed the immediate need of respite care to lawmakers who were present during the proclamation stating that, “Respite care is the only program that offers services to all ages—from zero and up.”
Daycares, for example she says, only cater to those up to age twelve.
“What about everyone else?” she said.
Manalo stated that the program only has $53,000 available, which is not enough to address the needs of the CNMI.
“Ninety-six percent of the 276 people who were assessed on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota need care,” she said.
An emotional recitation of a family caregiver’s experience acknowledged how caregivers and their loved ones need not suffer in silence.
Torres expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all the caregivers, especially in the wake of the recovery efforts and CNMIs long battles with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer.
Respite care is a service provided to children and adults with chronic or terminal illnesses, disabilities or those at risk of abuse and neglect. CRSP serves to provide temporary relief to family members or caregivers for the purpose of stability, time-off and preservation.
For more information on how you can support the program or to receive assistance, contact the Commonwealth Respite Service Program through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 322-7469.