December 23, 2020
Happy Holidays from NAC!

This newsletter serves as an update for this week and next week. The NAC office is closed from December 24-January 4, and there will be no This Week in Caregiving edition the week after Christmas.
We hope that you and your families have a safe and happy holiday season. Take some time to care for yourselves during this unusual time. For resources on caregiving during the holidays, you can check out the Alzheimer's Association's guide to caregiving around the holidays during COVID-19 HERE.

Be sure to keep touch on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn and on our website at www.caregiving.org!
It’s Time to Meet the Needs of African American and
Black Caregivers

Editor’s Note: This article represents the first in a series by the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) to be published in Generations Today. Articles are connected to ASA-hosted webinars; see end of article to register. The series of articles by the DEC highlights research from The Caregiving Initiative, a multiyear research project funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation.

"Particularly for African American and Black communities, the caregiving role may lead to worse health outcomes due to the lack of formal supports and increased barriers to accessing culturally competent services. Needless to say, these inequities have long-existed and have only gotten worse during the pandemic—a trend that we have identified in our research, The Caregiving Initiative."
From: Generations Today | November - December, 2020
Recognizing Diverse Caregiver Experiences
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"The nationwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has laid bare and heightened awareness of inequality that has long existed. But through recognition also comes opportunity to make real reforms that will directly benefit family caregivers of color, both during and after the pandemic."
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From: NextAvenue | December 4, 2020
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"During the COVID-19 pandemic, states have used the Appendix K Emergency Preparedness and Response authority to amend Medicaid 1915(c) home- and community-based services (HCBS) waivers and quickly provide more flexible services and supports to Medicaid enrollees and, indirectly, their caregivers."

From: NASHP Blog | December 11, 2020
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Dementia Caregiving and Public Health
Dementia caregiving is highly prevalent and affects increasing numbers of individuals and families. According to NAC and AARP's Caregiving in the U.S. 2020, 26% of the 47.9 family caregivers ages 18+ care for an individual living with Alzheimer's or dementia, which is up 4% from 2015.

When people living with dementia need prolonged and intensive assistance, caregiving can take a toll on caregivers’ health, well-being, and ability to work. The pandemic has exacerbated these challenges not only for those who provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, but also for their communities. When unpaid dementia caregiving cannot be sustained, paid or formal care — such as residential or long-term care — is often necessary. 

Through their responsibility to protect the public’s health, governmental public health agencies can advance proven strategies to support and maintain the health, well-being, and productivity of caregivers. This "chief health strategist" leadership begins with convening key partners and caregivers, using data and science to recognize and diagnose problems, and developing a systemic, equitable approach to ensure effective, sustained dementia caregiving. 

A new action brief from the Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Promoting Caregiving Across the Full Community: The Role for Public Health Strategists — offers an overview of the challenges of dementia caregiving, including service fragmentation and gaps. Six proposed strategies advance equity in caregivers’ access to and use of effective supports throughout healthcare systems, workplaces, and communities. A case study in Arizona features such an approach, describing the development of effective systems to promote caregiving across the full community and improve health outcomes.  
WORLD CARERS RECORDING AVAILABLE
World Carers Conversation

December 13-16, 2020

The National Alliance for Caregiving and Embracing Carers convened experts from around the world for a virtual World Carers Conversation.

Watch recordings from Days 1-4 of the conference on the NAC Facebook page HERE. Edited recordings will also be made available on the NAC website at caregiving.org/world-carers-conversation/.
UPCOMING WEBINARS

RAISE Act, State Policies, and NASHP’s State Medicaid Policy Institute on Family Caregiving

January 13, 2020 | 3 PM EST | Online

Family caregiver contributions offset the cost of personal care services and can delay the need for more costly care. Hear about ways states can improve their family caregiving supports, including:
  • The RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council’s newly adopted recommendations to better support family caregivers;
  • Information from a Wisconsin state leader who will describe state innovations to support family caregivers; and
  • A new opportunity for states to participate in a state Medicaid policy institute for family caregiving. Learn more HERE.

Moderator:
Wendy Fox-Grage, NASHP Project Director, RAISE Family Caregiver Resource and Dissemination Center

Speakers:
  • Rani Snyder, Program Vice President, The John A. Hartford Foundation
  • Greg Link, Director, Office of Supportive and Caregiver Services, ACL
  • Kitty Purington, NASHP Senior Program Director, NASHP
  • Carrie Molke, Director, Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources
California Caregiver Resource Centers Events

December, 2020 | Online

Throughout December, the California Caregiver Resource Centers are hosting a series of virtual learning events for caregivers.

Click the red link below to register and watch recordings of past events!
PATIENT AND CAREGIVER STUDIES 
Colorado State University Seeking Participants

Researchers at Colorado State University are seeking participants for an online program for caregivers AND care receivers who experience chronic pain. The 8-week online class includes gentle movement and education. The program is free and you can receive up to $100 in gift cards for participating. 

If interested, call 970-491-8204 or movementANDeducation@colostate.edu.
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Pass It On: Clinical Trial on Convalescent Plasma

The Food and Drug Administration is now allowing the emergency use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID patients. The Pass It On trial research study led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center is currently enrolling 1,000 patients at 50 locations across the country. Its results will help researchers determine whether convalescent plasma, which comes from recovered COVID-19 patients, will help hospitalized patients recover faster. 
Researchers Seeking Volunteers for a Study on Caregivers of Individuals Living in Nursing Homes During COVID-19

Are you the care partner (family member or friend) of a resident in a U.S. nursing home?  Have you had your visitation restricted since March 13, 2020? Are you willing to share your experiences with researchers? 

If so, click the red link below to participate in a new study.
AARP Releases
The Supporting Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care Series
The AARP Public Policy Institute has released the first four theme papers in the new series, providing a glimpse into the value and complexity of the CARE (Caregiver Advice Record Enable) Act implementation. AARP developed model legislation based on the Home Alone findings through the CARE Act, which supports patients and family caregivers across the lifespan and condition.

Under the CARE Act:
  • Hospitals must identify a family caregiver for inpatient admissions and record the family caregiver in the medical record.
  • Hospitals must notify the family caregiver of discharge plans for the person in the hospital.
  • Family caregivers must be offered training on medical/nursing tasks they may be asked to perform.

Click the red link below to learn more and access the series.
These themes papers may be used to inform practice recommendations to recognize and support family caregivers.
CMS Announces Flexibilities for Hospital at Home Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new waiver flexibilities for hospital at home programs amid the COVID-19 surge. The John A. Hartford Foundation helped develop the Hospital at Home model in the 1990s and has provided ongoing support for the model's study and dissemination. 

Click the red link below to learn more.
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