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'Caring for Caregivers' Model Addresses Needs of Those Looking After Others

April 17, 2023

The journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), Health Progress, has published an article, "Aging - 'Caring for Caregivers' Model Addresses Needs of Those Looking After Others," as part of its spring 2023 issue.Family caregivers in the U.S. take on around 24 hours of complex care per week. Yet, nationally, caregiver needs are severely under addressed, leading to serious health consequences for millions of caregivers. This article explains the Caring for Caregivers Model at RUSH University Medical Center, which aims to address these needs by providing skilled and emotional support for caregivers through teams of physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, and social workers.With support from RRF Foundation for Aging, The John A. Hartford Foundation, the model is expanding as part of the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement, of which the Catholic Health Association is a founding partner.

RAISE Act State Policy Roadmap for Family Caregivers: Engagement of Family Caregivers in Health Care Systems

August 23, 2022

States play a critical role in fostering the development of well-coordinated, comprehensive, and high-value health care systems that help individuals achieve good health outcomes and high quality of life, including remaining in their own communities as long as safely possible. For many people with complex conditions, achieving those goals requires coordination across both the health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems, as well as the support of family or unpaid caregivers.Family caregivers have a valuable role in both health care and LTSS systems. They provide services to their family members that might otherwise need to be provided by paid caregivers. They can be the first to recognize new symptoms, as well as changes in health conditions and individuals' ability to care for themselves. They often make it possible for their family members with self-care needs to live at home. However, current health care and LTSS systems are fragmented and not well-designed to support family caregivers, often causing them to become care coordinators across multiple systems. In addition, family caregivers may need training to recognize signs and symptoms that signal a change in care needs and a defined path for bringing that information to the attention of the care team.In recent years, states have taken steps to improve family caregiver engagement in care delivery and planning. As of 2022, 45 states and territories have enacted the Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act, legislation that requires hospitals to inquire if a patient has a family caregiver and, if so, include the caregiver in the discharge process and instruct them about the medical and nursing tasks they will do at home. Although the CARE Act is enacted in 45 states and territories, it lacks enforcement, which presents an opportunity for states to better support the act. State agencies can establish policies which align with the act, that are designed to ensure that family caregivers are included in care planning both initially and throughout the care process.State Medicaid agencies have put in place services, such as structured family caregiving programs, that help family caregivers deliver and coordinate care by providing the caregiver with payment, individualized training, and a means for providing ongoing input into care planning. Area agencies on aging (AAAs) can also develop connections with home- and community-based services and health systems to assist in expanding referral systems to support caregivers. State policymakers hope that by adopting these policies they will not only help individuals achieve better health outcomes and quality of life but also help health systems reduce avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions — and ultimately contain cost by improving the delivery of care.

The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff

April 6, 2022

Nursing homes play a unique dual role in the long-term care continuum, serving as a place where people receive needed health care and a place they call home. Ineffective responses to the complex challenges of nursing home care have resulted in a system that often fails to ensure the well-being and safety of nursing home residents. The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing home residents and staff has renewed attention to the long-standing weaknesses that impede the provision of high-quality nursing home care.With support from a coalition of sponsors, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine formed the Committee on the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes to examine how the United States delivers, finances, regulates, and measures the quality of nursing home care. The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff identifies seven broad goals and supporting recommendations which provide the overarching framework for a comprehensive approach to improving the quality of care in nursing homes.

Aligning Public Health Interventions with Older Adult Housing Needs and Challenges

August 1, 2021

This brief outlines current housing challenges faced by older adults and potential areas for public health intervention. It summarizes existing programs that offer housing support for older adults and offers recommendations in each of the five key roles for public health.

Supplement to “Rethinking Care for Older Adults”: A Menu of Ideas for Administrative Actions

May 1, 2021

In December 2020, the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution published a Report summarizing a series of "brainstorming" conversations among experts on aging and caregiving for older adults. The conversations generated ideas for expanding opportunities for home and community-based care, advancing alternative business models in the institutional sector, and transforming the caregiving workforce. Many of the ideas in the Report would require legislation or changes in business practice. But others could be advanced at least in part by administrative or regulatory actions at the federal, state, or local level. To further develop some of these latter ideas, Convergence invited experts from the original conversations, and some other experts, to flesh out their ideas for administrative actions consistent with the broad themes of the original conversations. Like the ideas in the original Report, the proposals in this collection do not represent a consensus and they are not endorsed by nor represent the views of Convergence. Each proposal represents solely the views of the author. Convergence's purpose in publishing this collection is to spur productive conversation about the future of care for older adults.

Caring for the Future: The Power and Potential of America’s Direct Care Workforce

January 8, 2021

This report is the culmination of a year-long series of reports (released throughout 2020) providing a comprehensive, current-day analysis of the direct care workforce and its critical role in the long-term care system in the United States. By bringing these reports together, this final report provides: a detailed profile of these workers; a segmented look at the long-term care industry; a discussion on the evolving role of the direct care worker; a proposed framework for creating quality jobs in direct care; and a look forward at where this workforce and industry are heading. The report also offers concrete recommendations for policymakers, employers, advocates, and other long-term care leaders, and features stories of direct care workers from around the country, sharing their wisdom and ideas. In releasing this report, our goal is to strengthen the national dialogue on the direct care workforce, including what needs to change in policy and in practice.workforce,including what needs to change in policy and in practice.

Caring for the Future: The Power and Potential of America’s Direct Care Workforce (Executive Summary)

January 8, 2021

This executive summary describes the key points of our comprehensive, current-day analysis of the direct care workforce. This report is the culmination of a year-long series of reports (released throughout 2020) providing a comprehensive, current-day analysis of the direct care workforce and its critical role in the long-term care system in the United States. By bringing these reports together, this final report provides: a detailed profile of these workers; a segmented look at the long-term care industry; a discussion on the evolving role of the direct care worker; a proposed framework for creating quality jobs in direct care; and a look forward at where this workforce and industry are heading. The report also offers concrete recommendations for policymakers, employers, advocates, and other long-term care leaders, and features stories of direct care workers from around the country, sharing their wisdom and ideas. In releasing this report, our goal is to strengthen the national dialogue on the direct care workforce, including what needs to change in policy and in practice.

Rethinking Care for Older Adults: A Report on a Series of Convergence Conversations

December 10, 2020

This report is a summary of a set of three conversations, supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation and conducted by the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. The conversations covered two broad questions: a) Could it be possible for more older adults to remain much longer in their own homes and communities, and return to their homes more quickly after medical treatment, thus reducing the need for institutional care? and b) how might the business model of institutional care, and particularly nursing homes, be rethought in order to better provide for the needs and desires of older adults needing assistance?

Medicaid Supports for Family Caregivers

November 4, 2020

Family caregivers help Medicaid enrollees safely stay in their own homes, prevent or delay hospital and nursing facility stays, and provide personal care services that Medicaid agencies would otherwise need to pay for. However, there are strong indications that family caregivers need additional supports, which would benefit the Medicaid enrollees in their care. Recognizing family caregivers' critical contributions, state Medicaid agencies already provide training, services, or, sometimes payment to them. This report examines the strategies states currently use and presents four interrelated actions the federal government could take to foster spread of innovative strategies that some states have developed.Click "Download" to access this resource.Tags: Healthcare, Caregiving, Policy

Caregiving in the U.S. 2020

May 1, 2020

The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP present Caregiving in the U.S. 2020!This report is the most recent update to our trended research series, Caregiving in the U.S., conducted roughly every five years. The 2020 update reveals an increase in the number of family caregivers in the United States of 9.5 million from 2015 to 2020. Family caregivers now encompass more than one in five Americans. The study also reveals that family caregivers are in worse health compared to five years ago. As the demand for caregiving rises with an aging population, there is an opportunity for the public and private sectors to work together to develop solutions to support family caregivers and those under their care.Click "Download" to access this resource.

Inventory of Key Family Caregiver Recommendations

April 14, 2020

To assist the RAISE Act Family Caregiving Advisory Council make its recommendations, NASHP collected and analyzed about 800 recommendations from 27 key family caregiving reports written in the past decade. NASHP synthesized and inventoried the recommendations in this resource, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation and in collaboration with the US Administration for Community Living.Click "Download" to access this resource.

Gaining Momentum: A FrameWorks Communications Toolkit

March 1, 2017

The way Americans currently think about aging creates obstacles to productive practices and policies. How can the field of aging help build a better understanding of aging, ageism, and what it will take to create a more age-integrated society?Click "Download" to access this resource.