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In the spirit of the NC Campaign for Better Care’s “Year of the Caregiver” launch, we’d like to invite to you to this exciting event. Here are the details:

Friday, November 19 Fall Fun Fling Fundraiser to Support Advocacy for Frail Elderly

A brilliant new play written by Dr. Elliot Engel will headline the 2010 Fall Fun Fling, a fundraiser to support the education and advocacy activities of Friends of Residents in Long Term Care (FORLTC). The event will be held Friday, November 19, 2010 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 3313 Wade Avenue, Raleigh. Cost of event tickets is $25.00.

FORLTC is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to advance quality of life and quality of care for the 90,000+ frail elderly and disabled who live in North Carolina’s long-term care facilities. In the organization’s 20-year history, its members have successfully advocated for such issues as improved staffing levels, criminal background checks for direct care workers in long-term facilities, and enhanced educational requirements for nurse aides and personal care assistants.

The play, titled “The Best Is Yet to Be,” will star actress and regional icon Quinn Hawkesworth. The one-person play is a poignant, realistic, and often humorous look at the issues of aging, as told through the eyes of family members, paid caregivers, long-term care administrators, and the residents themselves.

“The purpose behind writing this play is to look at issues of aging – issues we all tend to avoid thinking or talking about – in a very honest, yet humorous way,” states Dr. Engel. “We want to entertain people but also get them thinking about their own aging process and potential long-term care experience in a positive and proactive way.”

Prior to the play, a reception and silent auction will occur, featuring David Ross paintings, collectible wines, beach and mountain weekend getaways, estate and artisan jewelry, North Carolina pottery, Christmas items, quilts, and a host of donated items. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. In addition, a drawing for a $500 cash prize and other items is scheduled. Drawing tickets are $5.00 each and purchasers do not have to be present to win.

Event tickets and drawing tickets can be purchased through the FORLTC website at www.forltc.org, or by calling the organization’s office at 919-782-1530.

Today the NC Campaign for Better Care celebrates the Year of the Caregiver — a year-long celebration that will recognize family caregivers for all that they give, and all that we ask of them.

Why? Family caregivers play a crucial, often under-appreciated, role in our families, communities and in our health care system.

Caregivers are on the front lines.

They fight hard for the well-being of family members and friends who are patients, many of whom suffer from multiple chronic conditions. They navigate our fragmented, poorly coordinated health care system, often at great personal cost, to get the job done for those who need them. It’s no easy task!

Caregivers are our heroes.

So in this Year of the Caregiver, we simply want to say: Thank you. We appreciate you and all your hard work. 

Caregivers also need our support.

It shouldn’t be so hard to ensure that our loved ones get the care they need and deserve. We know what would help: doctors and specialists working together as a team, medical records at our fingertips, and patients and their families no longer left to fend for themselves.

There is a better way. That’s what the Campaign for Better Care is all about – and that’s why we are proud supporters of this critical Campaign. So, today, in honor of all the caregivers in our lives, let’s show our solidarity. Join the NC Justice Center’s Health Access Coalition – and thousands of coalition organizations and activists across the country – and add your voice to the Campaign for Better Care’s tribute wall.

Take a moment and add your photo (or video) to this new interactive website “wall” and show support for caregivers and the Campaign that is fighting for them — and fighting for the patients they support. It’s easy. Go to www.CampaignforBetterCare.org/Wall and click “Add Your Voice.”

Also, if you missed our interview with Robin Eastridge, a family caregiver in Wilkesboro, NC, check out this short video interview: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2010/11/04/improving-care-for-older-parents-robins-story/