EmblemHealth has been a leader in the arena of family caregiving. Our innovative Care for the Family Caregiver Program — introduced over a decade ago — serves the growing community of nonprofessionals who provide unpaid care to their loved ones, often at great personal cost. Today, our work is local, national and international, not only as a provider of outreach and resources, but also as an advocate for these often overlooked individuals — “silent patients,” as family caregivers are often called.
On October 7, 2015, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, EmblemHealth and the New York City Partnership for Family Caregiving Corps will discuss issues of critical importance to family caregivers at the 4th Annual William S. Perper Symposium.
The day-long event — to be held at the prestigious New York Academy of Medicine —features family caregiving best practices and resources, workshops and presentations from renowned speakers of all faiths, and the premiere of CARE, an award-winning contemporary family caregiving film produced by EmblemHealth.
According to an AARP study released in August 2015, in 2013 there were about 40 million family caregivers in the United States providing an estimated 37 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities. In New York State, alone there are 2.2 million family caregivers. The following are 10 tips for family caregivers from the National Family Caregivers Association:
- Caregiving is a job and respite is your earned right. Reward yourself with respite breaks often.
- Watch out for signs of depression, and don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it.
- When people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest specific things that they can do.
- Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition and how to communicate effectively with doctors.
- There’s a difference between caring and doing. Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one’s independence.
- Trust your instincts. Most of the time they’ll lead you in the right direction.
- Caregivers often do a lot of lifting, pushing and pulling. Be good to your back.
- Grieve for your losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams.
- Seek support from other caregivers. There is great strength in knowing you are not alone.
- Stand up for your rights as a caregiver and a citizen.
As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers, and an extension of our caregiver program, we continue to look for new ways to connect and interconnect the world of health care made up of care recipients, professional caregivers (all paid professionals, including doctors, nurses and home attendants) and the unpaid family caregiver.