Dramatic Changes in U.S. Aging and Caregiving Statistics
The U.S. Census Bureau recently published a report on older adults and caregiving activities, among other topics. In July 2003, there were nearly 36 million people aged 65 and older in the U.S., with this population projected to double in 2030. The report discusses the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, citing that more than seven out of ten people with the disease live at home and 75 percent of them receive care from family caregivers. The economic effect of the disease is estimated at $80 - $100 billion annually due to health care expenses and lost wages of patients and their caregivers. For more information, visit: http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p23-209.pdf.
Guide for Families and Friends of People with Medicare
Medicare Basics, a new publication from the Department of Health and Human Services, offers information and suggestions for finding more resources for families and friends of people with Medicare. The publication highlights eight “decision points” related to the health or overall well-being of an older person that may be helpful to caregivers. Topics in the publication include planning for long-term care, prescription drug coverage, home health care and community services, nursing facilities, and hospice care. For more information, visit: http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/11034.pdf.
New Resource for Long-Distance Family Caregivers
A new publication from the National Institute on Aging provides long-distance caregivers with ideas and resources for making caregiving more manageable and satisfying. The booklet is organized in a question/answer format, with 20 of the most common caregiving questions. It includes information about visits with a loved one’s doctor, long-term care, geriatric care managers, advance directives and living wills, ideas to stay involved as a long-distance caregiver, and controlling frustration. For more information, visit: http://tinyurl.com/munxd.
New Online Resource for Family Caregivers
Johnson & Johnson, in partnership with the U.S. Surgeon General and leading aging and caregiving organizations, has launched a new caregiver initiative and website to support family caregivers. The national campaign is designed to enhance public awareness of the vital role of family caregivers and to provide resources to assist caregivers in maintaining their own health and well-being while caring for others. Information from Family Caregiver Alliance and other organizations is included in the site. To view the website, visit: http://www.strengthforcaring.com.
Making the Transition from Hospital to Home
The Care Transitions Program, a part of the University of Colorado at Denver Health Science Center, has created two tools to support patients and their families as they make the transition from hospital to home. The first is a patient-centered record system that contains essential information for organizing a patient’s health care and medications and facilitating effective communication between the patient, caregiver and health care professional. The second tool is a structured discharge preparation checklist of critical activities and information that is designed to empower patients and their caregivers. For more information, visit: http://www.caretransitions.org/caregiver_tools.htm.
New Tutorial on Financing Long-Term Care
The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured offers an informative tutorial on financing long-term care. It explains who uses long-term care, what services are provided, and how Medicare, Medicaid and the private sector fund this care. The tutorial states that family and friends provide roughly 78 percent of long-term care services. To view the tutorial, visit: http://www.kaiseredu.org/tutorials_index.asp#Financing.
Bathing Individuals with Dementia
The Bathing Without a Battle CD and video training package issued by The Commonwealth Fund draws upon evidence that caregivers can tailor techniques to alleviate the agitation that individuals with dementia may experience when being bathed. The materials include practical bathing methods for showering, bathing and hair washing of older adults with dementia, and discuss safe bathing equipment. For more information, visit: http://tinyurl.com/aorn7.
National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center
CMS announced the opening of the National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center. CMS created the Resource Center to respond to the large and growing shortage of workers who provide direct care and personal assistance to people with disabilities and older adults in the community. For more information, visit: www.dswresourcecenter.org.
When Employees Become Caregivers – A Manager’s Workbook
This new CMS document guides employers on how to make needed eldercare and Medicare information available to caregiving employees at little or no cost. The guide contains four user-friendly sections including: challenges to American business, meeting employee eldercare needs, seminars on aging and eldercare, and training for supervisors. For more information, visit: http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/11035.pdf.
Stroke Recovery Scorecard
The National Stroke Association has developed a Stroke Recovery Scorecard as a guide to help stroke survivors and their caregivers address important issues they may face during rehabilitation. The stroke survivor and/or caregiver can rate the level of difficulty they face with communication, movement, energy level, pain, sleep, quality of life and several other areas. Stroke survivors are encouraged to share their results with their primary care physician. To order a free Scorecard, or obtain additional information regarding stroke, call (800) STROKES or visit: www.stroke.org.
Grants for Development of Dementia-Specific Day Programs
The Brookdale Foundation offers grants to qualified organizations for the development of dementia-specific social model adult day programs. The Foundation will be funding up to 15 new sites nationwide, each receiving $7,500 in year one and $3,000 in year two. Applications are due by July 6, 2006. For more information, visit: http://www.brookdalefoundation.org/respiteprogram.htm.
CONFERENCES & TRAININGS
5th National Conference on Volunteerism and Family Caregiving
July 28-30, 2006
International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementias with Focus on Caregivers
September 6-8, 2006
San Francisco, CA
Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Conference
September 11-14, 2006
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