Caregiver Essay Contest

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The Home Instead Senior Care office serving Frederick and Carroll Counties, Maryland has announced the second annual Caring Today magazine’s “Give a Caregiver a Break” essay contest to honor family caregivers for their tireless service. The contest is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care.

In 500 words or less, family caregivers can tell their caregiving experiences, including the challenges they’ve faced, how they’ve embraced their role as a caregiver for a senior loved one and how a Home Instead CAREGiverSM could make a difference. Entries can be submitted starting May 24, 2007. Entry deadline is July 16, 2007.

Grand Prize is $5,000 of free care from Home Instead Senior Care, the world’s largest provider of non-medical companionship and home care for seniors. Two First Prize winners will receive $2,500 of free care from Home Instead Senior Care. Winning essays will be published in the November/December issue of Caring Today and the top 10 essays will appear on

Last year’s Grand Prize winner was Marian Colton of Brick, N.J., who at one point was doing arduous double-duty as a caregiver. For one, she was traveling regularly to a nearby town to care for her ill mother, Eleanor Flatley. In addition, at home, Colton was caring for Joey, her adult Downs Syndrome brother, who lived with her in Brick.

On top of all this, Colton continued to hold down her full-time job as a teaching assistant. Amazingly, however, she considered this whole situation not to be a sacrifice, but instead a natural part of her life.

Joey died in December 2005. “For seven months, my life was swallowed up in disease, doctors, discouragement and death,” she said. “Mom is still ill, but some of the pressure is released since Joey’s passing. I miss the intimate moments we shared as I cared for

him. He’d kiss my hand and his eyes sparkled with love and appreciation for my caregiving. His eyes shared his heart’s appreciation.” (To read Colton’s essay as well as the stories of the other winners, log on to

To enter the “Give a Caregiver a Break” essay contest, you must be 18 years old or over and a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Only one entry per person is allowed. Entrant must be the caregiver and not a third party. Entries may be submitted online at or by mail to Caring Today,

1465 Post Road East, Westport, CT. 06880

. Complete rules can be found in the May/June issue of Caring Today or online at or

Caring Today is the premier national magazine offering practical advice for the family caregiver. It provides expert, up-to-date information on medical, social, financial, legal, lifestyle and support issues — and, in each issue, reinforces the importance of caregiver well-being and self-care. It’s newly designed, interactive website is at

Home Instead Senior Care is the world’s largest provider of comprehensive companionship and home care services for seniors. The company’s services are designed for practically any living arrangement where an older adult simply needs human interaction and help with day-to-day activities. For more information, visit

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