Important new grants from the U.S. Administration on Aging's National Family Caregiver Support Program will enable FCA to enhance and develop caregiver programs, both nationwide and and on the local level.
At the national level, the AOA has awarded a grant of $190,000 to FCA for a project to enhance the development of caregiver programs.
The one-year grant is one of six awards under the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) to national organizations with demonstrated expertise on aging and caregiving issues. Another 28 grants were awarded to state and local organizations across the country to develop innovative approaches to assist families and informal caregivers of older persons as well as grandparents and older relatives who are caregivers of children.
In announcing the award of approximately $6 million for 34 projects, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said, "When older persons need care, it is often family members who provide that support. Caregiving is a daunting task which exacts a heavy emotional, physical and financial toll. These innovative grants will help us learn the best ways to relieve families of some of this burden."
FCA's grant will examine the growth and development of services and funding for support of family caregivers in the U.S. The project will increase the understanding of the range and scope of federal and state-funded caregiver support programs in all 50 states, and assist the aging network in program development and best practice to facilitate the implementation of the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) and its coordination with other caregiver policy initiatives. The project will focus on caregiver services under the NFCSP, Medicaid waivers, State General Funds, and other state funding streams.
Specific activities funded by the grant include:
Case studies in ten states to collect, analyze and summarize information on model caregiver programs and trends in states both at the forefront of caregiver support as well as those just beginning to provide services under the NFCSP.
Design of a 50-state survey of federal and state-funded caregiver support programs, including the commission of a fiscal survey of the states by the National Conference of State Legislatures, to identify and analyze appropriations and spending patterns for all caregiver support services.
Development of a state-specific database on caregiver services and funding streams.
Preparation of a monograph on foundations that fund or have an interest in health and caregiving issues.
To guide the project, FCA will form an advisory committee of representatives from key state and national associations and agencies.
According to Lynn Friss Feinberg, Deputy Director of FCA's National Center on Caregiving and project director for this grant, "This ambitious project will not only inform the aging network in areas of program development and best practice to facilitate the initiation of NFCSP, but also provide essential information to coordinate the NFCSP with other supportive services to family caregivers. Wherever family caregivers live, they should be able to choose from a full array of services and service delivery options that will meet their individual needs, preferences and values."
Bay Area Programs
FCA has also received funding from the NFCSP through Area Agencies on Aging to increase local caregiver services in Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties.
In Alameda County, FCA will collaborate with the Over 60 Health Center, Berkeley/Oakland, to develop a Caregiver Health Intervention Program and a Comprehensive Package of Respite Services for caregivers. The health intervention program will review the needs of caregivers and design services to help caregivers cope and maintain their own health status. The project brings together expertise on caregiving from FCA with the medical and social expertise of the Over 60 Health Center. A taskforce will review current literature, brainstorm educational strategies and interventions, and develop an educational workshop to be pilot tested in three locations in Alameda County. The respite package will include community education, outreach, information and assistance, comprehensive assessment, case management and counseling, as well as legal assistance for some forty new caregivers.
In San Francisco, FCA will collaborate with nine local agencies in an innovative project which will identify and assess caregiver needs that are often overlooked or ignored. Four areas have been identified for this project:
Services for caregivers in nontraditional family settings;
Services for caregivers whose primary language is other than English;
Volunteer companion services; and
Services designed to help caregivers address end of life decisions.
In addition, Family Caregiver Alliance will provide a broad array of comprehensive services to caregivers of persons over 60. Some of these services will be new, meeting needs not now being met; other services will consist of the "tried and true" which have proven to be of benefit to caregivers in the past.
With these new funds, Family Caregiver Alliance will be able to increase information access for new caregivers and provide additional in-home assessments and case management, as well as short-term respite and legal services. Three innovative services will be added: home delivered meals to caregivers (in collaboration with Meals on Wheels), Saturday daycare services (in collaboration with Catholic Charities) and respite companion volunteer visits (with Senior Companion Program, Family Service Agency of San Francisco).
FCA will also be expanding caregiver services in Marin County as a result of new funding. Details of this new program are currently being finalized.
E-mail to a Friend