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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|July 20th, 2004
||Contact: AoA Press Office
National Family Caregiver Support Program
Expands Outreach and Services to Caregivers
As America and the world sympathized with Nancy Reagan over
the loss of her husband, former President Reagan, it served as
a poignant reminder that as many as 44.4 million Americans tackle
the job of caregiver for a loved one. Family caregivers provide
the vast majority of assistance that enables older people to
live independently in their homes and communities. Many caregivers
do it alone, with limited or no relief.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), a program
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration
on Aging, helps caregivers obtain vital information and supportive
services in their community. NFCSP is administered through the
National Aging Services Network, which includes 56 State Units
on Aging; 655 Area Agencies on Aging; 244 tribal organizations
and about 30,000 local service providers.
Established in November 2000 as a new component of the Older
Americans Act, NFCSP has made significant progress in addressing
the special needs of caregivers. In the first two full years
of the program’s implementation, over 12 million people
received information about the program, and many individuals
have sought assistance through the National Aging Services Network.
Data for fiscal year (FY) 2002 and preliminary data for FY 2003
indicate that State and area agencies have already provided services
to significant numbers of caregivers. They provided access assistance
services to over 440,000 in 2002, and increased that by 20% to
over 530,000 in 2003. They provided counseling, training and
support group services to 180,000 caregivers in 2002, and to
almost 280,000 in 2003. Over 75,000 caregivers received respite
services in 2002, and this number increased by over 140% in 2003
to approximately 180,000 caregivers.
The most significant increase
occurred for supplemental services. In FY 2003, States and area
agencies provided supplemental services to 212,000 caregivers,
which is 278% higher than the 56,000 caregivers who received
these services in FY 2002. Although the FY 2003 data is preliminary,
we expect that the final data reported for all units providing
service will reflect that a greater number of caregivers were
served in FY 2003.
Under the National Family Caregiver Support Program, AoA also
awarded grants to conduct research and to test new and creative
ways of providing services to caregivers. To-date, 40 projects
have been funded--most for a three-year period. As the 40 projects
AoA funded come to a close, AoA and its grantees will release
educational materials and research findings.
Some informative materials are already available. NFCSP grantees
have produced several products that have been distributed nationwide.
- Easter Seals, Inc. has developed a video with tips
for caregivers to make the task of transporting their relative
easier. Transportation Solutions for Caregivers: A Starting
Point is available in English, Spanish and Cantonese. A second
produced under this grant is A Solutions Package for Volunteer
Transportation Programs. In addition, Senior Transportation
Options was released to assist older adults in identifying
transportation services available to them in most communities.
- The Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast produced
and distributed Caregiving at Life’s End: The National
Train-the-Trainer Program, a comprehensive training program,
distributed nationwide, which focused on end- of-life issues
faced by caregivers. This grantee also conducted a series of
comprehensive train-the-trainer workshops for leaders who could
then offer the course to caregivers in their communities.
- Generations United (GU) has developed a series of
fact sheets for grandparents and other relative caregivers
These fact sheets focus on services available to these caregivers
under the NFCSP, legal and housing issues and other topics
of concern to them. They have also produced and disseminated
to the National Family Caregiver Support Program and Its
Inclusion of Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children.
also identified and trained regional experts in kinship care
who can assist local provider agencies reaching this population.
- United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Arizona has produced
video titled Grand families: Kincare Givers of Southern Arizona.
This video was produced in English and Spanish and is used
to inform caregivers who care for relatives of services they
- Over the forthcoming year, AoA plans to release more caregiver-related
products and research findings from our grantees, including:
- Family Caregiver Alliance, in conjunction with the National Conference
of State Legislatures has conducted a national survey of all states and the
District of Columbia to identify all sources of funding available for caregiving
including the NFCSP, other Older Americans Act funds, Medicaid waivers and
other state revenues. This will also include state trend analysis of new and
caregiver support services and state profiles on caregiving. This report
will be released in November 2004.
- National Alliance on Caregiving, in collaboration
with the United Hospital Fund was funded by AoA to conduct
to determine the prevalence of caregiving in the United States
by children ages 8-18. Research from Great Britain and Australia
suggests that approximately 4 percent of the children in
this cohort in their countries are providing caregiving support
services usually to a disabled parent or sibling. This report
will be released in November 2004.
- American Society on Aging, in collaboration with
the American Nurses’ Association, National Association
of Social Workers and the American Occupational Therapy Association
be releasing a Web-based, multi-media, self-study curriculum
on caregiving for nurses, social workers and occupational therapists.
The NFCSP has made and continues to make significant progress
in supporting caregivers who provide essential care for older
persons in the United States. To find caregiving resources in
your area, contact the Eldercare Locator toll-free at 1-800-677-1116,
Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM (EST) or visit
their Website http://www.eldercare.gov.