September 14, 2020
VA Expands Aid To Cover Vietnam Vets’ Caregivers
"In addition to the usual health problems affecting that age group, many Vietnam veterans struggle with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the effects of Agent Orange. All of this puts them at higher risk of serious illness if they contract Covid-19, and puts a tremendous strain on the family members who want to care for them at home.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is about to increase the scope of its Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) to include eligible veterans who suffered serious injury in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975. Benefits of the program include monthly stipends, medical training and health insurance. The expansion is set to go into effect Oct. 1.

The program originally covered only the approximately 20,000 veterans who left the service after Sept. 11, 2001. As part of the VA Mission Act of 2018, eligible veterans of all eras will eventually be covered."

From: Next Avenue | September 2, 2020
Restarting Home Health Aide Services During the Pandemic

"Family caregivers in general have recently been anguishing over these matters of safety. If their relative lives in a residential facility, such as a nursing home, where others have already contracted the coronavirus, then they have debated about whether to bring that loved one home. If they and their relative already live at home with support services, such as home health aides, then they have debated about whether anyone should be allowed in to help with care — or, if so, when... How can caregivers make the most prudent choice under uncertain conditions when there's no clear-cut right answer? Here are some ideas."

From: AARP | August 31, 2020
RAISE Advisory Council Marks One Year of Progress

Since the Council was convened one year ago, it has made efforts to:

"-Proactively seek the input of caregivers, key stakeholders and others in advance of preparing a report and National Caregiving Strategy that reflects the voices and preferences of the families they are seeking to recognize and support;
-Survey the federal landscape to identify programs and initiatives already in place that can support caregivers and identify opportunities to strengthen collaboration and reduce duplication of such efforts."

Click the link below to learn more about the Council's next steps.

From: ACL | September 2, 2020
U.S. Caregivers Underprepared for
Medical/Nursing Task Performance
A new study from the Journal of Gerontological Nursing illustrates the inadequate support family caregivers receive to perform medical/nursing tasks. The research used data from Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 (from NAC & AARP) to examine "associations between performing medical/nursing tasks and caregiver well-being... Compared to those who did not [perform medical/nursing tasks], those performing tasks had higher risk of emotional stress, physical strain, and high burden of care, (from the Journal of Gerontological Nursing).
For a more recent look at the prevalence of medical/nursing task performance among family caregivers in America, check out Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 from NAC and AARP, which found that "nearly 6 in 10 [caregivers] help with medical/nursing tasks."
Cape Wellness Collaborative for Cancer Caregivers

In 2014, Cape Wellness Collaborative, a non-profit based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, opened their doors to those facing cancer by offering free integrative wellness therapies. Last year, they expanded their initiatives by introducing WellnessCares, in which family caregivers of cancer patients can receive the same benefits.

If you're a cancer caregiver in the Cape Cod area, click the link below to learn how Cape Wellness Collaborative can help. 
Respite Use Among Black and White Dementia Caregivers

New research from the Journal of Aging and Health examined racial differences in respite utilization among a nationally representative sample of caregivers for persons living with dementia.

"Black dementia caregivers were 69% less likely to use respite compared to white caregivers... Findings suggest that Black dementia caregivers may be at risk for less frequent use of respite and highlight the need to identify factors that promote respite use," (from Journal of Aging and Health).

Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have joined together to create a new program, Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers, which will offer vulnerable family caregivers of veterans access to no-cost, short-term relief with the help of in-home care professionals. CareLinx provided a $1 million contribution to launch the first phase of this campaign that will provide more than 40,000 hours of non-medical home care for more than 1,600 caregivers and their wounded warriors in regions of California, Florida, and Texas.

Click the link below to find out if you're eligible to apply. 

Mental Health America (MHA) Survey for Caregivers of Older Adults

MHA is trying to learn more about the experiences of caregivers providing care to adults ages 65 and older who are struggling with mental or physical health problems. Your responses will help build tools for practitioners across the country to create better care for adults. If you are a caregiver for someone age 65 or older who is struggling with a mental or physical health problem, please check out the link below to share your experience helping them with their treatment.

BIO Patient and Health Advocacy Digital Summit

October 28-29, 2020 | Online

The BIO Patient and Health Advocacy Digital Summit is a two-day, virtual event that will bring together patient advocacy organizations, academia, regulators, biotechnology industry, and other stakeholders for two days of robust programming to discuss timely policy issues and share best practices.

Register for free by clicking the red link below. 
International Short Break Conference (Rescheduled)

June 21-25, 2021 | Madison, WI

Registration is now open for the rescheduled ISBA conference, which will focus on Moving Respite Forward. Visit the red link below for more information.