Caregivers often have a hard, thankless job. Whether they are taking care of the needs of adult parents while holding down a job and their own children, or taking care of a spouse, sibling or even an adult child with special needs, they often find themselves overwhelmed, overstretched and with little support or resources. TV personality James “JB” Brown has joined with AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) to bring awareness to and help assist caregivers.

As part of that partnership, the Tom Joyner Morning Show will give away an all-expenses paid trip to the 2013 Fantastic Voyage taking place from April 7-14. Listeners have been contributing their nomination essays this month and in December, AARP will announce a winner.

Data obtained by the AARP indicate that over 42 million Americans are caregivers. Of that number, many are drawn from the African-American community. 71% of African-American caretakers are women, although data shows men are increasingly joining the ranks as well.

AARP offers information for caregivers at their site, http://www.aarp.org/caregiversthat has information, online community and resources for those caring for a loved one. Included on the site is:

•    The Take Care Blog(The latest news and information on caregiving)
•    Ask the Experts(User-generated questions answered by health and other experts)
•    Support Groups and Message Boards
•    Medicare Interactive Tool (Find out what benefits your loved one may be entitled to from Medicare plans.)
•    Telephone Support – AARP has a caregivers hotline available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET at 1-877-333-5885
Caregivers can also take advantage of AARP’s free guide “Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families.” It gives caregivers practical, easy to understand information about how to navigate the myriad challenges of caregiving. It also breaks down the simple steps a caregiver needs to take when it’s time to step in to assist a loved one:

Step 1: Start the Conversation
Step 2: Form Your Team
Step 3: Make a Plan
Step 4: Find Support
Step 5: Care for Yourself

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