Horizons in Hemophilia, Winter 2008
By Rueleen Lavergne, RN, Quality Assurance Nurse
Merriam-Webster defines "sandwich generation" as the generation of people who are caring for their aging parents while supporting their own children. This can be a demanding and difficult task, depending on the resources you have available and the severity of the problems you face with the physical, financial and emotional challenges of caregiving.
At Hemophilia of Georgia we are addressing these issues with our Aging Committee, where we hope to help find community resources for people who are facing the demands of aging. There are numerous aging resources available in Georgia, although not all are available in small communities, and they vary from county to county. Here are a few:
Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) For Caregiving. Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has been instrumental in identifying resources for caregivers since the late 1980s. RCI's goal is to support America's caregivers. RCI develops and distributes continuing education curricula nationally, including Caring for You, Caring for Me Program and the Caring and Competent Caregiver Program. www.rosalynncarter.org
Savvy Caregiver is a 6-hour web-based training program for families and others who are providing for someone with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. www.memorylossdvd.com
The National Quality Care Network brings together diverse quality improvement efforts in long term, home and community-based care. www.qualitycareconnections.org National caregiver conferences are held annually, including one in Americus.
There are 12 community care-net coalitions in Georgia that are designed to address the major needs of all caregivers through assessing community resources, identifying and remedying gaps in services, and offering caregiver education. www.rosalynncarter.org/regions
The Georgia Coalition for Caregiver Health is a statewide advocacy group to promote the health of Georgia's caregivers. The coalition plans to provide statewide training of caregivers in problem solving, stress management, management of problem behaviors and working with the health care system.
The Caregiving Specialist Certificate program is offered at Georgia Southwestern State University to prepare leaders in the field of caregiving.
Georgia Division of Aging - A statewide system of services for senior citizens, their families, and caregivers. www.aging.dhr.georgia.gov
CDC's Assuring Healthy Caregivers Program at www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/index.htm
Family Caregiver Support at www.ncsl.org/programs/health/Forum/fcsgeorgia.htm
Your HoG social worker also has information about resources available in your community and can help point you in the right direction to find resources.
While this is not an exhaustive list of all resources available on aging and caregiving in Georgia, it gives some of the major resources. Many churches and county health departments can offer caregiving respite care services or refer families to other sources of support. As the baby boomers are aging, the need for help with caregiving will only continue to grow, as the number of people available to meet the needs is shrinking.
For the first time in the history of hemophilia care, due to improved treatment and more prompt medical attention, men are living longer. Many who are living to older ages may be disabled and need assistance with factor infusions and activities of daily living. Hemophilia of Georgia would like to be a part of the process to make the aging process as healthful and meaningful as possible.