PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
May 12, 2015

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Department of Health Recognizes Women Caregivers

National Women's Health Week is May 10-16

New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd today recognized the commitment of caregivers in our state during the 11th annual Women Caregivers Retreat. This event, which is held annually during National Women's Health Week, is sponsored by the Department of Health, Family Support Center of New Jersey, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and AARP.

"National Women's Health Week is the perfect time to focus on women caregivers and to acknowledge the health and mental health burdens they face," said Commissioner O'Dowd.

"There are approximately 1.7 million caregivers in New Jersey and the vast majority are women, who too often neglect their own health while caring for a loved one. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, half of caregivers have said that their health declined due to the responsibility of caring for a loved one."

The Women Caregivers Retreat held today offered women information, resources, support and strategies for preventing illness and maintaining good health. The program included dynamic speakers, educational materials and health screenings.

According to the Rutgers Center State Health Policy, sixty percent of caregivers said they need help learning about their care recipient's disease. In November, Governor Christie signed legislation that will ensure hospitals provide caregivers instructions and training on how to care for a loved one who is discharged home. This law, known as the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, goes into effect today.

As part of National Women's Health Week, Commissioner O'Dowd will attend the New Jersey Primary Care Association Women Health Advocates Breakfast on Friday, May 15 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Trenton.

Governor Christie issued a proclamation designating May 10 to May 16 as Women's Health Week in New Jersey, to view the proclamation please visit: http://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/owh/documents/whweek.pdf

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NJDeptofhealth

Last Reviewed: 5/12/2015