A Helping Hand - AARP
I was at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC in early September, and AARP was there as a sponsor. They were also promoting resources for caregivers! I have them listed on my page as a resource already, but I wanted to share some of their initiatives in more detail. One of the kind volunteers joked, "You're barely 50!" (I am 28) when I came to the table - and we had a nice exchange about how there aren't enough resources for younger caregivers. Thankfully their materials are helpful to anyone at any age.
I picked up a pamphlet called "A Helping Hand: For Those Helping Loved Ones." It has 5 steps every caregiver should take - 1. Start the conversation 2. Form your Team 3. Make a Plan 4. Find Support 5. Care for Yourself...and after each point it includes some suggestions for each issue. I thought they did a really nice job identifying main issues caregivers struggle with, and offered helpful solutions. Find more at www.aarp.com/caregiving.
Additionally, I was very impressed by a piece of legislation they are backing in Maryland. It is called "The Care Act" - it stands for Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable. It involves including caregivers with their loved one's hospital stays - actually designating a caregiver in the medical chart, notifies them when discharge will happen, and teaches relevant medical tasks to the caregiver. I know from experience that its difficult to get in touch with medical professionals and for them to be responsible for teaching and follow-up would make a big difference for caregivers and their loved ones. Wouldn't it be nice to have this kind of legislation providing awareness in every state? I am going to sign the statement of support here. You can learn more about it at that link or by emailing MDCareAct2016@gmail.com as well. You don't have to be a resident of Maryland to support the legislation!
AARP is doing many great things to bring awareness to caregiving. I am impressed with their resources and hope that they continue to develop them!