The National Institutes of Health just released a paper on the needs of the caregiver “workforce.”
Here are some highlights from the report:
- Today family caregivers provide 80% of the care for persons with dementia.
- 16 million informal caregivers provide approximately 18 billion hours of unpaid care to persons with dementia.
- The value of the care provided by informal caregivers is $230 billion dollars.
- Over half of all family caregivers have no training in medical, or nursing care, they are expected to provide to their loved ones.
- A dementia-capable workforce is the key to allowing more people to age in place longer. We need to Increase the availability of supportive services that assist families in their role as caregiver. By reducing the burden on caregivers we can reduce stress. This will increase the quality of care to the persons living with dementia and their families.
- We need to identify the limitations of technology on dementia care management.
So, dear readers…what is on your wishlist? Nurses and physicians, who really understand and know how to care for people with dementia? Programs that help train or educate family caregivers? Programs that would pay family caregivers for providing care? I’m interested in your thoughts and comments.
Dr. Rita Jablonski
Rita Jablonski, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FGSA is a nurse practitioner, researcher, tenured professor, and former family caregiver. Her research and practice involve all aspects of dementia management; she is best known for non-drug strategies to address dementia-related behaviors.