Seniorlink News

Viewpoint Mass. Is at forefront of family caregiving

Lois Simon, Seniorlink’s Executive Vice President of Policy and Programs, was published today in the Boston Business Journal celebrating the passing of the RAISE Caregivers Act and explains why Massachusetts is at the forefront of recognizing family caregivers as a crucial part in the United States’ healthcare system.

Via Boston Business Journal: 

“More than 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. provide essential services for some of our communities’ most complex individuals. These heroes are the backbone of our health care system. When a loved one suffers from chronic illnesses or a degenerative condition like Alzheimer’s, the family caregiver will often find themselves providing care 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, for months or years on end. Their work often involves very personal and nursing-like care, including assistance with bathing, dressing, wound care, and medication administration.

The commitment often necessitates putting their own lives on “hold” and the stress and exhaustion many experience is overwhelming. I know this firsthand. Caring for my parents at the end of their lives, albeit an incredible privilege and gift, took a heavy toll.

The vast majority of family caregivers’ work is uncompensated, and has been estimated to account for nearly $500 billion in value in health care services annually. Simply put, without them, our health care system would go bankrupt.

From policymakers to employers, Massachusetts has almost 20 years of experience supporting and championing family caregivers in health care. By fostering the creation and growth of innovative programs such as the first-of-its-kind Adult Foster Care program, Massachusetts citizens — those in need of care and their family caregivers alike — have benefited from supports that focus on caregivers. They include the help of professional care coaches in the home, improved respite care options, and advancements in mobile technology that make support in real time, anytime, possible.​”

To read the full article, click here.


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