Over the last five years, the number of adults in the United States caring for a family member or friend age 50 or older has climbed from 32 million to more than 40 million caregivers. As people live longer and stay in their homes and communities into their later years, the need for family caregiving support will continue to grow. Ensuring that family caregivers have what they need to meet these responsibilities, maintain their own well-being, and improve the health outcomes of older adults is critical, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing this support requires innovative and collaborative efforts across the local, state, and federal levels.

This webinar explored promising opportunities for states to better support family caregivers and the key elements necessary to advance new innovations as well as policy and program changes. It featured the experiences of three states — Idaho, Iowa, and Virginia — that are testing new strategies to ramp up family caregiving supports. All three states are participants in the Center for Health Care Strategies’ (CHCS) initiative, Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America. This national initiative and webinar are made possible by The John A. Hartford Foundation, the Milbank Memorial Fund, the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

YouTube video


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: Courtney Roman, MA, Senior Program Officer, CHCS

C. Roman welcomed participants and guest speakers and shared findings from the states that participated in the CHCS initiative, Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America.

II. Prioritizing Multidisciplinary Collaboration to Support Family Caregiving in Virginia

Speaker: Jason Rachel, PhD, Director, Division of Integrated Care, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services

J. Rachel described the development of a multidisciplinary workgroup, consisting of state Medicaid plans, state agencies, and community organizations, and their collaborative efforts to improve family caregiving supports and services in Virginia.

III. Identifying Shared Goals to Guide Family Caregiving Supports in Idaho

Speakers: Judy B. Taylor, Administrator, Idaho Commission on Aging and Sarah Toevs, PhD, Director, Center for the Study of Aging, Boise State University

J. Taylor shared lessons from Idaho on identifying a shared goal for family caregiving supports across state agencies and community organizations, and establishing strategies to maintain the goal in the face of COVID-19 and other challenges.

III. Monitoring Iowa’s Family Caregiving Programs Through Data Collection

Speaker: Julie Bergeson, Family Caregiver and Support Services Manager, Iowa Department on Aging

J. Bergeson described the Iowa Department of Aging’s efforts to design and implement a standardized family caregiver assessment in the state’s six Area Agencies on Aging. The new uniform assessment streamlines data collection processes and identifies strengths and gaps in policies and programs.

IV. Moderated Q&A

Moderator: Courtney Roman, CHCS