Home care workers and family caregivers work best as a unified force, according to Greg Link, HHS Director of Caregiver Services for the Administration for Community Living. Link reviewed the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers during HCAOA’s webinar on Monday, emphasizing that home care has a large role to play in supporting family caregivers, which, in turn, will benefit client outcomes. Specifically, Link encouraged HCAOA members to, “…look for opportunities to strengthen recognition of and support for family caregivers.”
Specific ways to do this from the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers include:
Public comments are being accepted on the National Strategy through November 30.
HCAOA is drafting comments on the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers. If you would like to comment and be included, please contact HCAOA VP of Government Relations, Eric Reinarman.
Following Link’s presentation, Ann Tumlinson, founder of ATI Advisory and Daughterhood, delved into why home care providers should care about the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers.
“Family caregivers are partly your customer and potentially a lot more,” Tumlinson said. “One half to two-thirds of older adults are receiving 100 percent of their home care from unpaid family members and friends, in part because they can’t afford home care and because they want to avoid a Medicare bed [in a facility].”
Family caregivers are also receiving a growing amount of attention. From businesses to Medicare to political agendas, the country is waking up to the need to support family caregivers. Specifically, Tumlinson referenced the Credit for Caring Act and American Families Plan as ways the legislature is beginning to acknowledge the need for caregivers and caregiver support.
In response, home care providers should take notice and develop their own family caregiver strategy. How will you engage with and advocate for family caregivers? Can home care providers assess not just care recipient’s needs, but also family needs?
“A conscious, front of mind approach to thinking about the family caregiver and the larger ecosystem of what you do, that’s what I advocate for,” said Tumlinson.
HCAOA supports the Credit for Caring Act, Elizabeth Dole Act and EARN Act as ways to support family-funded home care. both support home care providers as well as care recipients and their families. HCAOA is also in the midst of developing a National Family Caregiver Advisory Council.
This webinar was provided to HCAOA members free, as a benefit of membership.
McKnight’s Home Care Editor Liza Berger also shared a synopsis of the webinar in her November 15, 2022, article, “Home Care Needs to Care About Family Caregivers, Expert Offers.”