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Highlights of Family Caregiver Council Recommendations

The Family Caregiver Council Recommendations are highlighted below and included in full in Appendix A.

  1. Strengthen Services and Programs that Support Caregivers and Care Recipients
    • Identify and streamline funding sources for consumer-directed respite and address policy and/or regulatory barriers that inhibit providing respite across the lifespan.
    • Support the development of a patient health care navigator program to pair trained volunteers with patients during discharge planning and short-term post-hospital needs.
    • Identify transportation and escort transportation services that are provided to caregivers or care receivers by local agencies such as aging, social services, health, veterans, and/or volunteer groups.
    • Support the development of a survey to better understand and address the needs of young caregivers in New York.
    • Strengthen services to caregivers across the lifespan.
    • Develop Regional Caregiver Centers for Excellence.
    • Continue funding for Office of Children and Family Services regional Kinship Caregiver Programs.
  2. Increase Information and Outreach to Informal Caregivers Across the Lifespan
    • Increase access to information about community supports and services and streamline assistance through NY Connects.
    • Work closely with hospitals, clinics, and doctor's offices to promote awareness of NY Connects as a vehicle to provide information about caregiver services.
    • Continue to hold community meetings, such as Town Hall Meetings, around the state to provide a forum for caregivers to share their experiences and discuss what types of services and supports would aid caregivers.
    • Promote the theme, You Care for Them, We Care For You. The video message, developed in 2008 for the Family Caregiver Council, should be further developed into a Public Service Announcement and distributed widely.
    • Educate elected officials about the economic value of informal caregiving to New York State and encourage them to strongly support family caregiver programs and services across the lifespan.
    • Produce and widely disseminate Caregiver Toolkits that provide information to assist caregivers to plan for their caregiving role and responsibilities.
  3. Encourage Civic Engagement/Community Empowerment to Support Informal Caregivers
    • Promote volunteerism by engaging community groups to support family caregivers (e.g., assistance such as friendly visiting, shopping, calls).
    • Identify and study outcomes of existing grass roots efforts such as volunteers providing transportation, food banks and other services in their communities.
  4. Continue the Development of State and Local Infrastructure for Caregiver Services and Supports
    • Develop a statewide caregiver consortium or coalition that will bring together state, county, and community-based organizations that serve caregivers across the lifespan to work together and share resources to better serve and educate their respective populations.
    • Continue to work closely with state agencies acting as ex officio members of the Council to ensure that assessment tools assess the needs of the caregiver and the care receiver and recognize them as a family unit.
  5. Expand Training and Education for Informal and Professional Caregiving
    • Develop flexible person and caregiver-centered training/education (on-line, in-person and group settings). Specific topics could include addressing functional and emotional areas, and that training and education should be culturally relevant to caregiver(s).
  6. Educate and Involve Business and Workforce in Caregiving Issues
    • Provide additional support to caregivers by educating and involving employers and the workforce in creative solutions to allow caregivers to remain a productive part of the workforce.
  7. Improve the Rights of Caregivers
    • Assist caregivers dealing with barriers in the health care system.
    • Explore possible options to strengthen the financial security of caregivers.
  8. Enhance Housing Options and Supports
    • Collaborate with the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to establish a program to develop and evaluate affordable innovative housing alternatives that would enable caregivers to provide assistance to individuals so that they can remain in their community.
    • Continue the Access to Home Program to fund adaptive use modifications in homes to assist caregivers in providing care and assistance to individuals that would otherwise be placed in a higher level of care.
    • Support the ongoing efforts conducted under the Housing, Planning, and Zoning Initiative, which is being implemented jointly by NYSOFA and the New York State Department of State.
    • Strengthen and promote NYSOFA housing-related programs designed to assist older adults to remain in their own homes and communities.