Caregivers tend to spend significant time digging for useful information to better care for their loved ones, a need which often escalates when the care receiver transitions from one care setting to another. During these transitions, caregivers often need additional guidance, especially in handling medication changes. To help with this issue, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has partnered with the United Hospital Fund of New York's Next Step in Care campaign. Together, they have produced a series of educational podcasts with a focus on helping caregivers make decisions about their loved one's medication transitions.
The Next Step in Care website focuses mostly on transitions for elders between care settings. These transitions can include hospital to home or rehab facility or the start or end of home care agency services.
Because transitions between care services are often rushed, miscommunication and errors can occur. CMS and the Next Step in Care website want to help make these transitions go more smoothly by offering materials that emphasize careful planning, clear communication, and ongoing care coordination. The following videos are an important part of the new materials:
Podcast 1: Caregiver Medication Transitions
Podcast 2: Caregiver Medication Reconciliation
Podcast 3: Caregiver Medication Management
Podcast 4: Caregiver Monitoring of Compliance
Podcast 5: Caregiver and Help with Medication Costs
Podcast 6: Caregivers and Medication Management Review
Help is available
I've found it exciting during these last few years to see the increased efforts from CMS to reach out to family caregivers. After all, we are the backbone of caregiving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:
- More than 34 million unpaid caregivers provide care to someone age 18 and older who is ill or has a disability
- An estimated 21% of households in the United States are impacted by caregiving responsibilities
- Unpaid caregivers provide an estimated 90% of the long-term care
- The majority (83%) are family caregivers-unpaid persons such as family members, friends, and neighbors of all ages who are providing care for a relative
The number of family caregivers keeps rising as our aging population needs more care in a time of shrinking resources, therefore the need for caregiving information and education increases. CMS and United Hospital Fund of New York's Next Step in Care program are both great resources to help us along the caregiving journey.
Another excellent resource is the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging website. Their Alzheimer's Library is packed with resources to help caregivers gain information and hope. The more familiar you are with the available data on care planning and procedures, the more you can help your loved one and yourself.
Next Step in Care Medication Management Instruction Videos. Retrieved from http://nextstepincare.org/Caregiver_Home/Medication_Management_Guide/videos_about_medication/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011, September 7) Family Caregiving: The Facts. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/facts.htm
Published On: May 03, 2012