National Family Caregivers Month observed in LA’s Historic Filipinotown

(L-R) MoTHER Board Secretary Cres Go, Elizabeth San Diego (emcee), Lagrimas Pardilla, Lucy Mejia, Ancil “Jun”  Suaze, Ethelina Provido (co-emcee), Gloria Resurreccion, Teresita Nones, Fe Destura, Estrellita Solas, Leonisa Labang, Myndy Pascual, Carolyn Elston and Perla Santos. Joined via Zoom were Mayble Boynton from Washington State; Francisca Naris from Pangasinan and Juanita Pableo from San Carlos City, Philippines.

Family caregivers took the center stage at the observance of the National Family Caregivers Month held on November 20 at the Larry Itliong Village in Historic Filipinotown.

Spearheaded by the Tender Loving Care Family Caregiver (TLCFC) Support Group, a program of the International MoTHER Movement (IMM), the three-event celebration coincided with the group’s pre-Christmas party.

Honored were the unpaid caregivers, who are unselfishly providing unconditional love, compassion and dedicated service in caring for their loved ones, to the point of neglecting their own health. Oftentimes, they tend to become sicker due to the demands of family caregiving.

Consul General Edgar Badajos sent his video message quoted below to extend greetings and appreciation to all family caregivers. The video was played prior to the distribution of recognition certificates, given to those present as well those who could not attend the in-person fanfare, particularly those from the Washington state and the Philippines who joined virtually via Zoom.

“….Family caregivers play a critical role in our society. They take care of different types of wards – from the young to the elderly, to the sick and infirm, and to those who simply need a companion to be able to continue doing some of the most basic tasks of daily living. In so doing, family caregivers ease the worries of concerned families for the health and wealth-being of their most vulnerable loved ones. Caregiving is not an easy task. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that this line of work is physically draining, time-consuming and, at times, emotionally and psychologically stressful.

This is why it is important for caregivers to also take care of themselves. Whenever you can, if you are a caregiver, take time out to engage in activities that bring you joy, and to not hesitate to seek support when needed.

I commend the International MoTHER Movement for its Tender Loving Care Family Caregiver, or TLC, Support Group for providing a space for family caregivers to take a breather, and access to a network of understanding and emphatic individuals who share experiences similar to theirs. I liken The TLC Support Group to an oasis, an oasis of hope and a place for rejuvenation for every individual working as a family caregiver.

This November, let us show to all the family caregivers in our midst that although they are often working silently and behind the scenes, their efforts are treasured, appreciated, and valued!”

The highlight of the gathering was the launching of an advocacy signature campaign proposing the possibility for individuals with chronic illnesses to petition a relative from their country of origin to come to the U.S. and help care for a sick loved one in the U.S.

This would be based on the consideration of language, religion, family practices, tradition, culture, including food choices and manner of cooking, personal familiarity and responsiveness, among other customary practices that would alleviate their condition.

The program opened with the singing of national anthems: Star Spangled Banner by Teresita Nones and Lupang Hinirang by Priscilla Leard; Invocation by Elizabeth San Diego;   Opening & Welcome Address by Perla Santos.

A poem titled “Sa mga Family Caregivers: Pagdakila at Parangal” written by Eusebio “Bing San Diego was read. Another highlight of the event was a “putong” or crowning ceremony for birth-month celebrants Cres Go and Cecilia Berango.  Closing remarks was by Dr. Art Flores.  The annual event is conducted by the TLC Family Caregiver Support, a program of the International MoTHER Movement.

The TLCFC Support group is composed of unpaid caregiver kababayans who are taking care of their loved ones, as a familial obligation, in keeping with our culture. They take part in the all free weekly activities conducted virtually by the IMM, addressing awareness and education on various topics affecting their situation.

This includes: basic technology 101; health and nutrition education; awareness raising and prevention on various health topics, physical activity – dancing, tai chi, Zumba and the no-betting Bingo Ayuda, among others. The goal is to alleviate the feeling of loneliness, depression, isolation, sedentariness, and others. The no cost Zoom activities are open to everyone as well.

 

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