January 26, 2021 | Press Release
Hamilton, NJ, January 26, 2021 – The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) today announced that eight states — Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington — were selected to join the second phase of Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America, a multi-state collaborative aimed at strengthening state-based opportunities to support family caregivers of older adults. This national initiative, led by the Center Health Care Strategies (CHCS), is made possible by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
Since 2015, the number of adults in the United States caring for a family member or friend age 50 or older has increased to more than 41 million individuals. Family caregiving is an activity that spans generations — across all racial, ethnic, and cultural identities as well as income and education levels. Ensuring that family caregivers have what they need to support their loved ones with complex needs, maintain their own well-being, and improve the health outcomes of older adults is critical and takes on heightened importance in today’s pandemic environment.
“The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double by 2060, rising from 15 percent to nearly one-quarter of the US population,” said Courtney Roman, Senior Program Officer at CHCS. “Providing family caregivers with the skills and supports to effectively care for their loved ones will not only improve the lives of older adults, but also may reduce health care spending by allowing them to continue to live in their homes, rather than an institutional setting, for as long as possible.”
Over two years, the participating states will receive technical assistance from CHCS and leading experts as well as benefit from peer-to-peer learning opportunities to help develop and/or enhance strategies to assist family caregivers. Areas of focus include:
- Strengthening family caregivers’ capacity, including, for example, through use of new technologies, increased access to respite care, and formal training for family caregivers;
- Establishing robust data collection strategies to enhance programs or inform policies to support family caregivers (e.g., family caregiver needs assessments, surveys of program effectiveness); and
- Building formal cross-sector partnerships (e.g., across aging, housing, transportation, health plans, etc.) in a deliberate and strategic way to better support family caregivers’ needs.
“Family caregivers are the unsung heroes of health care, but too often feel overwhelmed and unprepared to address caregiving responsibilities,” said Rani Snyder, Vice President of Program at The John A. Hartford Foundation. “We applaud these eight states for working together and with us to better support families caring for older adults, and anticipate their efforts will spur other states to meaningfully support caregivers within their own communities.”
The state teams will participate in individual technical assistance calls, peer-to-peer “learning lab” webinars, and virtual “hang outs” to learn from peers and other experts and implement new strategies to support family caregivers. CHCS will distill lessons from the states’ efforts, which will be shared broadly with stakeholders across the country. For more information, visit www.chcs.org/supportingfamilycaregivers/.
About The John A. Hartford Foundation
The John A. Hartford Foundation, based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. For more than three decades, the organization has been the leader in building a field of experts in aging and testing and replicating innovative approaches to care. The Foundation has three priority areas: creating age-friendly health systems, supporting family caregivers, and improving serious illness and end-of-life care. Working with its grantees, the Foundation strives to change the status quo and create a society where older adults can continue their vital contributions.
About the Michigan Health Endowment Fund
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund [The Health Fund] is a philanthropic foundation that works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents while reducing healthcare costs. The Health Fund supports organizations across Michigan, from grassroots groups addressing local health challenges to large agencies working in every county. From the urban streetscapes of downtown Detroit all the way to the rural corners of the Upper Peninsula, its partners are doing innovative, evidence-based work to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents.
About the Center for Health Care Strategies
The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit policy center committed to improving health care quality for low-income Americans. CHCS works with state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and community-based organizations to develop innovative programs that better serve people with complex and high-cost health care needs.