VA on the Road to System Transformation

On May 9, the VA will open the application process for eligible post-9/11 Veterans and Service Members to designate their Family Caregivers who will be eligible to receive a host of benefits.  Benefits for the family caregiver may include a stipend, mental health services, access to health care insurance (if not already covered under a [...]

Best of Awards for 2010

How good was 2010 to family caregivers? Well if you factored out the protracted budget crisis in the states, it was a pretty good year. Two landmark pieces of legislation set the pace: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act.  We have also gathered other [...]

State Policy Recommendations for Caregivers

I had the pleasure of addressing the California Commission on Aging last week during their public hearing on “Celebrating Caregiving in California”. I was asked to provide the historical background on caregiving in my home state and look at the future in terms of policy directions. I would like to share some of [...]

States, Counties and Cities: The Long Road to Recovery

As the negative economic news continues, what are we to make of the prolonged recession that has already changed the service landscape for caregiving families? Difficult debate and hard decisions are underway at every level of government from federal, state, county to city levels. The services that families depend on for support such [...]

Baby Boomer Caregiver Use of Technologies and Social Media Increasing

Yesterday, January 10th, two studies were released that examined the role of technology and family caregiving. The studies, “Home Tweet Home: The Age Lesson Boomer Social Media Study” (Age Lessons) and “e-Connected Family Caregivers: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century” (UnitedHealthcare, National Alliance for Caregiving) looked at how caregivers look at social media [...]

Funding for Additional Caregiver Support is Scuttled by Congress

In the August 11, 2010 edition of PolicyDigest, Family Caregiver Alliance alerted our readers that the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved its spending bill for the departments of Labor, Health, and Human Services with a number of provisions benefitting family caregivers. As part of Vice-President Biden’s Caregiver Initiative, an additional $104.5 million was [...]

One Simple Question – Update

In late May, I wrote about including in Medicare health history questionnaires the question, “Are you currently providing assistance to a family member or friend who has a health condition?” For older caregivers, health risks can be significantly higher and asking the question first recognizes those who may not “identify” with being a [...]

FCA: Not Your Sound-Bite Organization

I am often asked for a quick and easy answer to what Family Caregiver Alliance does – a brief explanation that can fit into an elevator ride. The simplest response is our mission: To improve the quality of life for family caregivers through services, advocacy, research and education. This has been our charge [...]

One Simple Question: Are You a Caregiver?

Over the years there have been a number of studies that have shown the ill effects of caregiving on the health and mental health of the caregiver – and mostly it is not good news. For those older spousal caregivers and in particular those who are caring for a spouse with dementia, a decline [...]