The National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife Foundation Honor Innovative Programs that Make a Difference

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 General News
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NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 22 Representatives fromleading aging organizations and agencies convened today in Nashville, TN tohonor the 2008 winners of the National Family Caregiving Awards, sponsored bythe National Alliance for Caregiving, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition ofnational organizations, with support from MetLife Foundation. The eventrecognized community-based programs that support family caregivers who provideassistance to older adults. The programs were recognized for theirinnovativeness, effectiveness, and responsiveness to caregiver needs in thecommunities where they operate. A special seed grant also was awarded to oneprogram meeting the needs of older persons caring for adult children withdisabilities.

Family caregiving is the underpinning of the country's healthcare system,with a value to society estimated at $306 billion per year-more than the valueof home care and nursing care combined. Experts anticipate that familycaregiving will continue to grow in the decades ahead. Currently, there areover 44.4 million family caregivers in the United States. Nearly 60% ofcaregivers work and nearly 40% of caregivers have children under the age of18. Managing the competing priorities of work and family, in addition to thecaregiving responsibility, is stressful, costly, and draining, and can exact aheavy toll, resulting in caregiver stress, burnout, and other health problems.

"We were thrilled to learn about so many excellent programs around thecountry that have found innovative and effective ways of supporting theefforts of the family caregivers," said Gail Gibson Hunt, President & CEO,National Alliance for Caregiving. "Thousands of nonprofit agencies across theUnited States provide these sorts of services, and we hope that othernon-profits will be inspired by these programs, by seeing the possibilitiesand taking on the challenge of improving the level of support to caregivers."

This year's award winners are:

-- The Asian Community Center of Sacramento, CA for the Drop-In Respiteand Caregiver Cooperative, in which caregiver-volunteers "earn and buy"respite time with other Co-op members, sharing their caregiving methods andengaging in self-learning, while building a community resource.

-- The Center for Intergenerational Learning, Temple University inPhiladelphia, PA for its Time Out Program, which mobilizes college students toprovide in-home respite services to caregiving families throughout thePhiladelphia area.

-- The Alzheimer's Association-Gulf Coast Chapter in Pinnellas Park, FLfor Memory Mobile, the only mobile Alzheimer's outreach, support, andcaregiver education service delivery vehicle in the country targetingisolated, rural families dealing with, or at risk for Alzheimer's disease.

-- The National Bone Marrow Transplant Link in Southfield, MI forCaregiver's Guide for Bone Marrow. Stem Cell Transplant, which was developedto educate loved ones about their vital role through the experiences andperspectives of fellow caregivers.

-- CancerCare in New York, NY for Online Caregiver Support Groups, whichprovides virtual 24/7 access to support and information for people across thecountry caring for a loved one with cancer.

-- Mid-Illinois Senior Services, Inc. of Sullivan, IL for Old Order AmishCaregiver Program, which provides support, counseling and training -- withintense emphasis on cultural sensitivity to the Amish beliefs and ways --while overcoming obstacles that have kept the Amish from seeking help outsidetheir faith.

Non-profit organizations from around the country competed for the NationalFamily Caregiving Awards in the categories of caregiver support and education,either as a small community (with a population of 100,000 or fewer) or a largecommunity (100,001 or more). The non-profit honorees were awarded $25,000 tocontinue and enhance their support for caregivers. A

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