We are focused on new opportunities for training aimed at strengthening the skills, knowledge, and confidence of America’s millions of family caregivers who are instrumental in helping seniors successfully age in place.
In today’s healthcare climate, non-professional family caregivers are increasingly being expected to provide complex care for their loved ones that, only a few decades ago, would have been provided in a medical setting by nurses and other trained professionals. These tasks include medication management and administration, post-surgical and other kinds of major wound care, and setting up and monitoring medical equipment such as feeding tubes and IV infusions.
Caregivers are handling these challenging tasks with little or no training or follow-up. According to the 2015 survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 57% of family caregivers were performing one or more complex medical/nursing tasks, and most reported no prior training. Family caregivers also provide a myriad of other services including managing household tasks and finances, personal care and hygiene, and care coordination. Adding to this challenge, approximately half of family caregivers are also employed outside the home; in essence, they have two full-time jobs.
With many caregivers facing the challenges of their own aging, it is imperative to identify and advance more comprehensive, cross-disciplinary caregiver support solutions—that address the needs of both caregivers and recipients of care.
In an effort to address the gap in skills training and support for family caregivers, we are collaborating with the Center to Advance Palliative Care (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) and Carol Levine (United Hospital Fund) to identify and develop a new platform aimed at strengthening the skills, knowledge, and confidence of America’s millions of family caregivers.