Author: Rimas J. Jasin, MA, MPA
Right now about one million New Yorkers are unpaid Caregivers looking after an older adult with a form of dementia. Some Caregivers are on your staff – it might even be you.
Twenty years ago Bill Clinton was the first president to recognize the enormous contribution of unpaid family caregivers. Following his 1997 Presidential Proclamation, November was named National Family Caregiver Month. Yet Caregivers bear the burden of watching their loved ones all through the year.
Just released results of a survey from The NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) reveal five eye-opening facts:
· $470 billion per year = the economic value nationwide of the work performed by family Caregivers
· $32 billion = the savings to NY State due to voluntary assistance provided by family Caregivers
· $67.5 million = the NY State Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Initiative allocation for family Caregivers of those looking after relatives with forms of dementia
· $304,000 = a Caregiver’s lost wages over a lifetime due to missing work days and early retirement
· 4 to 1= the diminishing ratio of Caregivers to the over 60 population of New York by 2030
DFTA’s study “is the first of its kind to examine the extent to which unpaid caregivers’ needs are met in NYC and to identify areas for further improvement.” It says three key areas that Caregivers need most:
· Information about available services
· Respite care
· Legal services
Helping those who bear the burden as a family Caregiver can improve quality of life for them and their loved ones and improve Caregivers’ productivity in the workplace.
The first step is to recognize who is a Caregiver.
The second step is connecting with the free services and resources that are available to support Caregivers through this journey.
You can be among the pioneers in blazing the trail.
Funded by both the NY State Department of Health and DFTA, PSS Circle of Care is uniquely positioned to help Caregivers in all five boroughs with the information and resources needed to navigate the system of services. We can bring our programs to your company literally or virtually – your choice. Best of all, our funding enables us to do all of this at no charge.
Circle of Care is a program of the not-for-profit PSS, an innovative, multi-service agency working for New York City’s older adults and their families. Founded in 1962, PSS delivers the vital tools, programs and resources they need to thrive. Circle of Care staff are available at Caregiving Stations in every borough offering professional hands-on assistance to unpaid family Caregivers, providing vital information and direct counselling. These same staff could also be available to meet with your caregiving employees.
Through educational events and by partnering with community organizations, PSS Care Consultants build the awareness, knowledge and skills of caregivers. In addition, we offer informative webinars – ideal for the working caregiver.
For the Latino population, our Circulo de Cuidado is a much needed resource since, according to DFTA, Hispanic individuals account for 21 percent of caregivers.
PSS Circle of Care can provide you with customized information that you can then share with your employees via your organization’s e-newsletter or website.
We invite you to join the next PSS Impact of Caregiving presentation. For information contact: Sonja Shute, MSW Circle of Care Clinical Services Manager SShute@pssusa.org