Maine Key Issues

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Key Facts

  • Unpaid caregivers in Maine, all 178,000 of them, provided 165 million hours of care—worth an estimated $2.2 billion—to their parents, spouses, partners, and other adult loved ones in 2013.[1]
  • Maine is projected to have a 77.2% increase in the population of adults 65 and older from 2010 to 2030. Nationally, between 2010 and 2030, women aged 25 to 44 (the typical direct care worker) will increase by only 7%, creating a care gap.[2]
  • In Maine in 2010, the family caregiver ratio was 6.9 potential caregivers aged 45-64 for every person in the high-risk years of 80-plus. In 2030, the ratio is projected to decline sharply to 3.4 to 1; and it is expected to fall to 3 to 1 in 2050.[3]
  • Total FY2013 National Family Caregiver Support Program Funding in Maine: $723,620; Total FY2013 Native American Family Caregiver Support Funding in Maine: $38,020; Or $3.99 per caregiver in Maine.[4]

Recommendations for Maine from the Alzheimer’s Association

Source: http://act.alz.org/site/DocServer/CAREGIVERS.pdf?docID=4644

  • Conduct a gap analysis to identify new and existing opportunities to enhance and adequately fund – and then fund – state policies and programs regarding benefits and subsidies to family caregivers that promote active involvement of families in dementia care
  • Develop, enhance, and improve the variety and supply of formal and informal supports for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s, including supports appropriate for elders and their caregivers in ethnic, immigrant, and tribal communities.
  • Identify and expand the availability of professional guidance options to help family caregivers navigate and manage the myriad of safety and behavioral issues through an array of services such as caregiver assessment, care consultation, counseling, care management, respite care, support groups, assistive technologies, and other effective interventions.
  • Identify and expand the reach of public and not-for-profit training programs run by organizations and agencies with expertise in Alzheimer’s disease to inform, educate, and offer care giving strategies and interventions to empower family members and/or friends of those living with individuals with Alzheimer’s at home.
  • Increase participation in educational programs among diverse caregivers through culturally and linguistically appropriate trainings and materials. Customize outreach tailored to immigrant and other diverse communities and where possible, recruit participation of native language speakers to deliver programs.
  • Educate and enlist the faith community as community resources that can help reach out to and support family caregivers. Invite faith leaders to applicable trainings and also utilize them as a resource to disseminate information and materials.
  • Encourage businesses and other workplace sites to offer family caregiver support services, such as flexible work hours, referrals, and counseling through Employee Assistance Programs and other employee initiatives. Invite employers to applicable trainings and also utilize them as a resource to disseminate information and materials.
  • Establish and support consumer and family involvement in public advocacy through advocacy training and financial supports such as travel reimbursement and funding for respite care.
  • Enhance the state 2-1-1 information line’s ability to be an effective channel for people seeking access to resources related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by ensuring the system has access to up-to date contact information for resources in each county.
  • Educate family caregivers and individuals to recognize and choose quality dementia care.
  • Enhance and expand the reach of dementia-specific family caregiving trainings, including guidance on available resources and support and navigating systems of care.
  • Educate family members about best practices in home care.
  • Educate family members about how to work with facility staff to ensure the needs of their loved ones are met, including anticipated guidance regarding the intake and admissions process, assessment, care plan development and conferences, resident and/or family councils as well as ongoing more informal interaction during visits. It should also include anticipatory guidance on how family caregivers can help support their loved ones to prepare for the change of setting, as well as guidance on how to prepare themselves.

References

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