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Family Caregivers Feature Prominently in the Report from the Commission on Long-Term Care Released Today

Family Caregiver Alliance Today the Commission on Long-Term Care released the full report on their activities over the past six months.  Created by Congress and signed into law January 2013, the 15-member Commission had a very short time frame for gathering information and issuing a report. The Report has four main areas for review: Service Delivery; Workforce; Finance; and Advancing a National Advisory Committee on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS), with 28 Recommendations for specific policy changes. Family caregivers figure prominently as key stakeholders as part of a “person and family centered care” system and are featured under the section on Workforce. Taken directly from the Report are the recommendations for family caregivers: Workforce Vision: An LTSS system that is able to support family caregivers and attract and retain a competent, adequately-sized workforce capable of providing high quality, person-and family-centered services and support to individuals across all LTSS settings. Family Caregiving Recommendation 1: Maintain and strengthen a person- and family-centered LTSS system with both the person with cognitive or functional limitations and the family caregiver (spouse or partner, child or grandchild, parent, sibling or other unpaid assistant), as a focus for services and supports. Include family caregiver and their needs in assessment and care planning processes. Recommendation 2: Include family caregivers in patients’ records and as a member of the care team. Recommendation 3: Ensure family caregivers have access to relevant information through technology. Recommendation 4: Encourage caregiver interventions, including respite options, and integration with volunteer efforts. We applaud the efforts and report from the Commission on Long-Term Care, especially given the short time frame for completion.  We hope that this report and the specific policy action related to family caregivers—and the other important topics covered—will result in policy actions that address the needs of families across the country. For more information, to get a copy of the report, or watch the hearing held today to announce the report, go to: https://medicareadvocacy.org/national-commission-on-long-term-care/   – Kathy Kelly, FCA Executive Director