November is National Family Caregivers Month

“Caregiving Around the Clock”

Caregiving can be a 24-hours a day/7-days a week job. Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s or a child with special needs can be non-stop. Providing care around the clock can crowd out other important areas of life. And you never know when you will need to rush to the hospital or leave work at the drop of a hat. What challenges do family caregivers face, and how do they manage them day and night?

Morning: Getting off to work. The average family caregiver is a working mother of school-aged children. Mornings become a tricky balancing act of getting the kids ready for school, making sure your loved one has what they need for the day before getting yourself out the door for work.

All Day Long: Managing medications. Up to 70% of the time, the family caregiver – not the patient –manages the medications. The more serious the condition, the more likely it is that the family caregiver manages the medications for the patient. This means ensuring your loved one is taking their medication correctly and maintaining an up-to-date medication list.

During the Workday: Juggling caregiving and work. Six out of 10 family caregivers work full- or part-time in addition to juggling their caregiving responsibilities at home. And most of them say they have to cut back on working hours, take a leave of absence, or quit their job entirely.

Evening: Family time and meal time. Ensuring that you get proper nutrition will help you maintain strength, energy, stamina, and a positive attitude. Nutrition is as important for you as the caregiver as it for your loved one. Caregiving affects the whole family.

Late at Night: Taking time for yourself. Late at night might be the only time you get a few minutes for yourself. Make sure you take time to rest and recharge. The chance to take a breather and re-energize is vital in order for you to be as good a caregiver tomorrow as you were today.

The Middle of the Night: Emergency room visits. Have you ever had to take your loved one to the emergency room in the middle of the night? Be prepared ahead of time with what you need to know and what you need to have with you.

During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize the challenges family caregivers face when their loved ones need Caregiving Around the Clock!


Diamond Lifetime Membership Drive

50th Anniversary logo

Federally Employed Women’s (FEW) National President and I, as Vice President for Membership and Chapter Organizations, challenge all members to join us as we commemorate and celebrate FEW’s 50th Anniversary in 2018. For 50 years, FEW has maintained inexpensive membership dues in order to reach a broad base of members and to provide a cost-effective organization for anyone who supports the mission and vision of FEW.

FEW currently has three membership levels: Regular ($45 annually), Lifetime (one-time fee of $300) and Diamond Lifetime (must have paid the Lifetime membership fee and then an additional one-time fee of $200). As many of you heard during the 2017 National Training Program’s Closing Luncheon, we have already gained 50 new members. We want to encourage 50 current members to consider upgrading their membership to Diamond Lifetime membership. National President, Wanda Killingsworth, became the first Diamond Lifetime member under the new membership cycle (July 1, 2017 – June 1, 2018). Let’s add 49 more in the coming months so that we have yet another proud investment to announce during our 50-year celebration.

You may upgrade your membership by logging onto the FEW website at, then clicking on My Account. If you’d rather upgrade your membership by mail, please fill out the Lifetime/Diamond Lifetime Application by clicking here.  Follow the instructions for where to mail the completed application along with your check or money order. On page two of the application, you will find an explanation of the eligibility for Lifetime and Diamond Memberships. If you have any questions, please contact Suzi Inman, Vice President for Membership and Chapter Organization, at

We look forward to your continued investment in FEW!

Diamonds Are Forever!

Wanda V. Killingsworth
National President
Federally Employed Women

Suzi Inman
Vice President for Membership and Chapter Organizations
Federally Employed Women

Hurricane Victims Need Your Help

We are in the middle of hurricane season which will not end until November 30.  Keeping that in mind it important now, more than ever, to be prepared to do what you can for those in affected areas.

hurricane graphic

The news is still reporting daily on the damage, the ongoing flooding, and on people helping people. The Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and many other organizations are on site doing what they can to help. And every organization, when asked how people can best help, has the same answer: Money. They have the bodies. They have the procedures. They simply need cash to provide whatever is needed at any given time.

The Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) is endeavoring to raise funds to send along to aid southern Texas. You can Donate Here to add to that pool.

Red Cross logoThe Red Cross is always a good selection, and they are set up to take donations Here, as well as via iTunes and wireless text.



Give to other major organizations by clicking their logo below:

Salvation Army logoUnited Way logo




Every dollar helps. Consider how you can best help with the recovery.

Women’s Equality Day – August 26, 2017

Womens-Equality-Day-180x300On Women’s Equality Day, we honor those courageous, relentless, and dedicated women who had marched, advocated, and organized for the right to cast a vote; that precious right has reinvigorated generations of women and galvanized them to stand up, speak out, and let their voices be heard across this great nation. Today, as we celebrate the anniversary of this achievement and pay tribute to the trailblazers and suffragists Federally Employed Women is commitment and dedicated to continue to advocate for equality for women and girls. We must continue to advancing forward on our journey towards equality and investing in our future!

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting the right to vote to women. The amendment was first introduced in 1878. In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.

Women’s Equality Day – August 26, 2017

Women’s Equality Day is a day set aside to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which granted women the right to vote.  In 1971, the U.S. Congress, at the urging of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), designated August 26th as the first Women’s Equality Day.

The intention of Women’s Equality Day is not only to recognize the right of women to vote, but to bring attention to the ongoing efforts of women to achieve equality. Federally Employed Women’s mission is to continue the march toward equality for women by focusing its efforts on legislation impacting women in federal service.

National Women’s History Project

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Eye Chart Graphic of Eye



With a large number of states beginning the school year earlier, August is the new September! Along with school supply shopping and purchasing those back-to-school clothing items, it’s time to make comprehensive eye exam appointments for the kids. Conveniently, August is designated as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month!

A good rule of thumb is to have your children’s eyes examined during well-child visits, beginning around age three. Your child’s eye doctor can help detect refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as well as the following diseases:

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Ptosis (drooping of the eyelid)
  • Color deficiency (color blindness)

If you or your doctor suspects that your child may have a vision problem, you can make an appointment with your local ophthalmologist for further testing. There are some specific warning signs that may indicate that your child has a vision problem. Some of these include:

  • Wandering or crossed eyes
  • A family history of childhood vision problems
  • Disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects
  • Squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching television

Keeping your children’s eyes safe is another part of maintaining healthy vision. Eye injuries are the leading cause of vision loss in children. There are about 42,000 sports-related eye injuries every year in America, and children suffer most of these injuries. Help prevent your child from being one of the more than 12 million children who suffer from vision impairment by remembering a few basic rules of safety:

  • All children should wear protective eyewear while participating in sports or recreational activities
  • Purchase age-appropriate toys for your children and avoid toys with sharp or protruding parts (Source: HAP).

Help your children have a successful school year by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam and taking safety measures to ensure their eyes are free from injury.

Why is an Eye Exam so Important?

Many of us believe that if we can see well, we don’t need to visit an eye doctor. While good vision is clearly important, an eye exam does more than just test your vision. In fact, your eyes can be portals that offer a glimpse of your overall health. In fact, many diseases show early signs in the eyes, including cardiovascular health and diabetes. So a comprehensive eye exam can help you at any age:

  • Vision and learning are closely linked. Children don’t know what ‘normal’ vision is like, so they may not know to complain. Children’s eyes change rapidly as they grow, so eye care is important.
  • Around the age 40, most of us have difficulty reading due to Presbyopia. A natural part of the aging process, presbyopia makes it harder to read small print. Computer monitors become more challenging as well. While “drugstore readers” may help, your eye doctor offers a range of options to fit your lifestyle.
  • Many eye diseases, including glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, have no symptoms in the early stages. If left untreated, the vision loss is usually irreversible. Seeing your eye doctor on a regular basis can protect your vision through early treatment.

A comprehensive eye exam, offered only by an ophthalmologist or optometrist, looks at both eye health as well as your vision. Your doctor will check for:

  • Refractive error: nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatism
  • Focusing problems, including presbyopia
  • Other vision problems, such as strabismus, amblyopia or binocular vision
  • Eye diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy
  • Other diseases, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, can often be detected in an eye exam

While tests will vary based on your doctor and your medical history, most comprehensive eye exams include the following:

  • Visual Acuity to assess the sharpness of your vision, usually using the “Big E” or Snellen chart.
  • Visual fields test, to determine if you have blind spots or peripheral vision issues.
  • Cover Test, which can identify strabismus or binocular vision problems.
  • Retinoscopy, autorefractor or aberrometer, to approximate your eyeglass prescription.
  • Refraction, to fine tune the final eyeglass prescription using a phoropter.
  • Slit Lamp exam to detect common eye diseases and conditions. The instrument allows your doctor to examine the structure of your eye to assess its health.
  • Glaucoma test, known as tonometry, measures the pressure within your eye.
  • Dilation of the pupil and ophthalmoscopy to examine the optic nerve, retina and blood vessels.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness

PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months.

If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.

What factors affect who develops PTSD?

PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

Personal factors, like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender, can affect whether or not a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

There are four types of symptoms of PTSD, but they may not be exactly the same for everyone. Each person experiences symptoms in their own way.

  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms). You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event. You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  3. Having more negative beliefs and feelings. The way you think about yourself and others may change because of the trauma. You may feel guilt or shame. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. You may feel that the world is dangerous and you can’t trust anyone. You might be numb, or find it hard to feel happy.
  4. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal). You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. Or, you may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. You might suddenly get angry or irritable, startle easily, or act in unhealthy ways (like smoking, using drugs and alcohol, or driving recklessly.

What other problems do people with PTSD experience?

People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Physical symptoms or chronic pain
  • Employment problems
  • Relationship problems, including divorce

In many cases, treatments for PTSD will also help these other problems, because they are often related. The coping skills you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and these related problems.

What treatments are available?

There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling or talk therapy) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication.

How can Veterans cope when current events cause distress?

Below is a list of tips to manage distress for Veterans with or without PTSD. Use them to help you cope when traumatic events affect you.

To help yourself

  • Consider limiting your exposure to news on television. While media coverage may draw you in, increased viewing can raise stress levels. Watch yourself for signs of anger, rage, depression, worry, or other negative feelings. Take a time out from the news to let yourself recover from these feelings.
  • Keep up with daily schedules and routines. Try to include more pleasant activities in your day, even for brief periods of time.
  • Keep up with your body’s needs for exercise, food, and sleep.
  • Feel what you feel. It is normal to feel a range of emotions. Having these feelings is to be expected. How you deal with them is most important.
  • Slow down. Give yourself time and space to deal with what has happened. Remember that people have their own pace for dealing with trauma, including you.
  • Count on feeling angry, but balance your actions with wisdom. Try to stay calm. Avoid reacting with sudden anger toward any group or persons.
  • Talk with someone close to you who might understand what you are going through.
  • If you do not feel like talking, writing in a journal may be helpful for dealing with intense feelings.
  • Do not avoid other Veterans even if they remind you of your military past. Seeking support along with other Veterans can be very helpful when stress is high. You can find other Veterans through the VA, Vet Centers, and Veteran’s Service Organizations.

If you need help

Get help from your doctor or a mental health provider who is skilled in working with survivors of trauma if:

  • You are having any symptoms that are causing high levels of distress, problems in relationships, or problems at work.
  • You are abusing alcohol or drugs.
  • You cannot get relief using the tips listed above.


May is Mobility Awareness Month

Since 2012, May has been recognized as National Mobility Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). Driven by the theme “Life Moving Forward,” NMEDA members and industry partners team up to organize an international campaign that works to highlight and celebrate the ways in which people living with disabilities persevere and triumph over their physical challenges while bringing attention to the many life-changing mobility solutions available to make independence more accessible.

People with disabilities constitute the second largest minority in the United States. In the United States and Canada, over 18 million people have mobility issues, six million of whom are veterans. NMEDA wishes to draw awareness to the fact that there are mobility equipment manufacturers, dealers, driver rehabilitation specialists and other professionals in every community dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Automotive mobility solutions are available for people with disabilities enabling them to enjoy active, mobile lifestyles.


Presidents Day

Presidents DayPresidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.

The story of Presidents’ Day date begins in 1800. Following President George Washington’s death in 1799, his February 22 birthday became a perennial day of remembrance. At the time, Washington was venerated as the most important figure in American history, and events like the 1832 centennial of his birth and the start of construction of the Washington Monument in 1848 were cause for national celebration.

While Washington’s Birthday was an unofficial observance for most of the 1800s, it was not until the late 1870s that it became a federal holiday. Senator Steven Wallace Dorsey of Arkansas was the first to propose the measure, and in 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law. The holiday initially only applied to the District of Columbia, but in 1885 it was expanded to the whole country. At the time, Washington’s Birthday joined four other nationally recognized federal bank holidays—Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving—and was the first to celebrate the life of an individual American. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, signed into law in 1983, would be the second.

Information courtesy of Visit the site to learn more.

Presidents’ Day [Web page content]. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from

Action Alert – Equal Rights Amendment

Federally Employed Women (FEW) asks that you contact your legislators and urge them to co-sponsor and support the Resolutions in both the House and Senate that remove the deadline for States to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution and/or begin the process that states:

 “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Priority should be given to passage of the ERA since full legal equality under the United States Constitution is essential for women to be equal partners and participants in our society.

While women certainly enjoy more rights today than they did when the ERA was first introduced in 1923 or when it passed out of Congress in 1972, hard-won laws against sex discrimination do not rest on any unequivocal constitutional foundation. They can be inconsistently enforced or even repealed. Elements of sex discrimination remain in statutory and case law, and courts have had difficulty applying a consistent standard to gender-based classification.

Four separate bills have been introduced (two in the House and two in the Senate) covering the two different approaches cited above. FEW supports either approach to achieve the end result – full equality. Therefore, we are asking legislators to support both Resolutions in their respective chambers.

Get involved in this important issue and help ensure that women receive full and equal rights in our nation. We can make a difference.  Simply get involved through CapWiz. Click on the Take Action button in the Featured Alert area and fill in your information to have your letters sent automatically.

If you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to contact Washington Premier Group at 202-670-2298, or



As your constituent and a member of Federally Employed Women (FEW), I urge you to co-sponsor the Equal Rights Amendment Resolutions (H.J. Res 33) that was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) which would restart the process of passing the ERA, and H.J. Res 53 that was introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (CA), would remove the deadline for States to pass the original ERA.

I firmly believe that priority should be given to passage of the ERA, in any form, since full legal equality under the United States Constitution is essential for women to be equal partners and participants in our society.

While women have made great strides, there is still a long way to go. Among the real problems still facing women are: the glass ceiling, wage gap, occupation gap and sexual harassment issues. Further, nine out of ten Americans support equal rights for women and men. This Amendment simply establishes a legal requirement that women be treated the same as men. There is no legitimate argument against this provision. Women deserve to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace, as well as in all other parts of our economy and society.

Now is the time to show half of the American citizenry and voting public that they are completely equal to the other half.

If you need more information about this issue, please contact the FEW Representative, Tonya Saunders with Washington Premier Group, at 202-670-2298, or via email at


Letter Senate-

As your constituent and a member of Federally Employed Women (FEW), I urge you to co-sponsor to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Resolutions (S.J. Res 6) that was introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (NJ) and (S.J. Res 5) that was introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (MD). S.J. Res 6 would restart the process of passing the ERA while S.J. Res 5 would remove the deadline for States to pass ERA.

I firmly believe that priority should be given to passage of the ERA, in any form, since full legal equality under the United States Constitution is essential for women to be equal partners and participants in our society.

While women have made great strides, there is still a long way to go. Among the real problems still facing women: the glass ceiling, wage gap, occupation gap and sexual harassment. Further, nine out of ten Americans support equal rights for women and men. This Amendment simply establishes a legal requirement that women be treated the same as men. There is no legitimate argument against this provision. Women deserve to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace, as well as in all other parts of our economy and society.

Now is the time to show half of the American citizenry and voting public that they are completely equal to the other half.

If you need more information about this issue, please contact the FEW Representative Tonya Saunders with Washington Premier Group, at 202-670-2298, or via email at