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VNA Community Healthcare is launching a Family Caregiver School this fall!
Posted on August 15th, 2014

VNA Community Healthcare is launching a Family Caregiver School this fall to help family caregivers who need coaching and guidance doing medical tasks at home.  This new, free program is in response to a  2012 research study of family caregivers done by the AARP Policy Institute that found more than half of 1,677 caregivers polled were expected to perform medical/nursing tasks (such as wound care, incontinence care, medication management, using medical equipment) at home without much teaching or support.
 
While the family caregivers in the study found doing these tasks rewarding and helpful to their loved one, they also felt stressed and worried about making mistakes. Many did not have contact with medical professionals who could provide information or support. “We are passionate about helping family caregivers who are struggling and feel like they are all alone.  We (VNA Community Healthcare) want them to know that we are mobilizing our resources and reaching out to help,” comments Barbara Katz, RN, Director of Clinical Program Development at VNA Community Healthcare who spearheaded the idea for the Family Caregiver School.   
 
VNA Community Healthcare, which has had a Caregiver Support Network since 2003, will start this project with a Family Caregiver School Open House on Friday, September 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their 753 Boston Post Road, Guilford location, followed by another on Thursday, November 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their 2319 Whitney Avenue, Hamden office.  Call 1.866.474.5230 to register for either of these free programs.  For those who cannot attend, there will be a virtual Family Caregiver School Open House available on September 12 at ConnecticutHomecare.org/CaregiverSchool.   
 
At the Open House, VNA Community Healthcare’s clinical experts will provide family caregivers with three tips and one written tool on each topic, ranging from heart failure, wound care, medication management, diabetes, dementia, incontinence, and other medical topics of concern. AARP CT will also have a booth to distribute additional family caregiver materials. 
 
About VNA Community Healthcare
Beyond nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapies; mental health; and maternal child health, as well as, free or low cost wellness, health and family caregiver support programs in 35 towns throughout greater New Haven and Middlesex counties.  Last year, VNA Community Healthcare made 320,000 healthcare visits in homes throughout the region.  For more information about the nonprofit home healthcare agency, call their toll free Helpline at 1.866.474.5230 or visit ConnecticutHomecare.org. #
 
Statistics on Caregiving
Estimated number of Caregivers living in Connecticut: 351,720 (the 28th highest in the country), based on state by state statistics for 2004 by the National Family Caregivers Association and Family Caregiver Alliance’s National Center on Caregiving.
 
More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.
- National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009
 
23% of family caregivers caring for loved ones for 5 years or more report their health as fair or poor.
-National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009
 
Six in 10 family caregivers are employed.
-MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Costs; National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Mature Market Institute. February 2010
 
American businesses can lose as much as $34 billion each year due to employees' need to care for loved ones 50 years of age and older.
-MetLife Caregiving Cost Study: Productivity Losses to U.S., MetLife Mature Market Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving Business. July 2006
 
Up to 70% of family caregivers manage medications for their loved ones.
-Caregiver Action Network (National Family Caregivers Association), October 2012



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