News and Events

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November is National Family Caregiver Month

Caregiver

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter called caregiving a “universal subject.” She was right.  Chances are you know someone that is, has been, or will be a caregiver for an older adult or person with a disability.  

Consider:

  • More than 60 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend each year (1.3 million Ohioans are caregivers). 
  • This care makes up nearly 80 percent of the long-term care services that keep Americans in their homes and communities and out of institutions, like nursing homes. 
  • Economically speaking, informal, unpaid caregivers provide $450 billion worth of care each year ($14.2 billion in Ohio alone).
  • Sixty-six percent of older adults with chronic disabilities are cared for by a family member. 
  • Almost half of all caregivers are age 50 or older.

In honor of National Family Caregiver Month, we have filled our November newsletter with information about local resources for caregivers, articles about the act – or rather art – of caregiving, and helpful resources to help caregivers on any stage of their journey. To find these articles, browse through our November 2014 newsletter archive. 

As the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for southwest Ohio (Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties), Council on Aging is  responsible for planning, coordinating and administrating local, state and federally funded programs and services for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers in our region. We distribute funds to service providers and organizations in our communities to provide services and support to these groups.

For family caregivers, the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) is a lifeline. Established in 2000, the NFCSP gives recognition to the important role that family caregivers play in our nation’s long-term care system. Funded by Title III-E of the Older Americans Act, NFCSP provides grants to states to fund a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible.

Through the NFCSP, family caregivers have access to:

  • information about available services
  • assistance in gaining access to the services
  • individual counseling, support groups and training
  • respite care

These services often work in conjunction with other state and local home and community-based long-term care services to help lessen caregiver stress and keep care recipients in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

In southwestern Ohio, COA combines NFCSP funding with state Medicaid funds and county senior service tax levies to provide support, education and respite to caregivers in our region. For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, this number exceeded $630,000. Most of this funding went to services delivered via local organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Cincinnati Chapter, Catholic Charities SouthWest Ohio, Jewish Family Service, Oxford Senior Services, Senior Independence and other home care and adult day care service providers.

Title III Funding Distributed to Service Providers for Caregiver Support/Counseling:
Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati $14,959
Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio $49,995
Jewish Family Service of the Cincinnati Area $9,082
Senior Independence $254
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio $27,313
Total $101,603
   
In-home Care and Adult Day services to eligible Elderly Services Program clients  $534,190
   
Total Title III-E Caregiver Support FY2013 $635,793

COA also operates an award winning Caregiver Education and Support Program. The program is unique among Ohio’s AAAs in that it focuses on the caregiver’s well-being. Through the program, a trained home health nurse visits with the caregiver to provide advice, hands on training, resources unique to their individual needs, and emotional support. Click here to read a personal story and learn more about this program’s impact.

The program is free of charge and available to caregivers in Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties. The caregiver or care recipient must be age 60 or older, but this requirement is waived if the care recipient has Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Call 513-721-1025 for more information.

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