Caregiver programs and supports are located in every state in the nation. Some of these programs and supportive services have been in existence for decades, but most are relatively new or are newly expanded, thanks in part to federal funding from the National Family Caregiver Support Program, enacted in 2000.
This AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper, authored by FCA's Lynn Friss Feinberg, Kari Wolkwitz and Cara Goldstein, highlights three "cutting edge" trends in supporting family caregivers:
Assessment of caregivers' own needs in order to tailor care plans and support services to meet those needs
Consumer direction in family caregiver support services which can be particularly effective in addressing the needs of families in rural areas where fewer formal services may be available
Collaborations on caregiving between the aging network and health care providers in which family caregivers may be identified in primary care physician offices, rather than waiting for care to seek help or continue to provide care alone, thereby making it possible to reach caregivers before they experience any adverse effects
This paper provides policymakers, program administrators, and advocates with an overview of these emerging trends; describes state approaches and developing practices; and identifies key factors fundamental to successful adoption of these strategies.
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