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June 2017 Excerpt

How does your community coalition incorporate the needs and wisdom of family caregivers?
Are family caregivers represented at your community’s coalition meetings or involved in your work to improve care transitions?
Do providers in your area take steps to arrange respite services or other supports for these caregivers—some of whom may be at risk of burning out?
More than 1 in 4 Idahoans
and
nearly 1 in 5 Washingtonians
are unpaid family caregivers.
The Idaho Caregiver Alliance (ICA) has developed an action plan to better support this important (but sometimes overlooked) part of the healthcare system.
The action plan articulates the following goals:
Goal 1: Ensure a streamlined, coordinated system of supports for caregivers across the lifespan, recognizing the unique needs of Idaho’s diverse population.
A sampling of resources is shared on our website. Does your coalition promote similiar information to ensure that caregivers get the help they need?
Goal 2: Increase public awareness about unpaid family caregiving and help people within our communities identify as caregivers.
Among other events held throughout the year, the ICA is hosting The Caregiving in Idaho Lifespan Respite Summit on July 7 in Twin Falls. Registration is now open.
Goal 3: Recognize the importance of family caregiving and embed the voice of family caregivers in policy and system change.
Progress is underway through partnership with the Idaho SHIP Central Health Collaborative. This year, healthcare providers, community agencies, and the ICA are implementing a family caregiver integration program in Treasure Valley patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). Stay tuned for more information.
Goal 4: Ensure a coordinated voice for family caregivers in Idaho through the development of a sustainable structure for the Idaho Caregiver Alliance.
What steps will your community coalition take to ensure caregivers are given the attention they need?
Family caregivers can prevent or delay the need for costly institutional care, maximize independence, and keep families together.