As Caregivers Support a Growing Number of Older Adults over Long Distances, Local Programs Offer Resources and Guidance

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joellen Leavelle, jleavelle@n4a.org and (202) 872-0888

WASHINGTON—There are a growing number of Americans caring for older adults who do not live near them. Supporting a friend or relative who needs assistance with meeting daily needs can be challenging, no matter the location. But supporting a loved one who does not live nearby can present unique obstacles. Luckily, there are national, state and local programs and resources that can help these long-distance caregivers. To help caregivers reach these resources, the Eldercare Locator, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), the U.S. Administration for Community Living, together with the National Alliance for Caregiving, have made long-distance caregiving the focus of this year’s Home for the Holidays campaign.
 
Launched each year to coincide with the holiday season, the Home for the Holidays campaign draws attention to issues of importance to older adults or their caregivers, providing helpful resources for individuals and families to start learning more. The heart of this year’s campaign is a brochure, Caring Across the Miles: Resources for Long-Distance Caregivers, which provides tips, answers frequently asked questions and highlights local resources available to long-distance caregivers.  
 
Lance Robertson, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator for the U.S. Administration for Community Living said, “Family caregivers make it possible for so many of our nation’s citizens to live independently and fully participate in their communities. The Aging Network connects older adults and caregivers in communities across the country to resources they need for support.”
 
Each month the Eldercare Locator receives more than 500 inquiries from caregivers seeking information on programs and services for their loved ones. As the number of older adults is expected to grow to 73 million by the year 2030, the number of caregivers and the need for local aging services and supports will also grow.  
 
“The goal of Home for the Holidays is to ensure that caregivers know about—and use—resources that are available in their communities that can help make their lives—and the lives of their loved ones—easier,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood. “Area Agencies on Aging and other parts of the Aging Network are uniquely positioned to support long-distance caregivers as they navigate the sometimes choppy waters of helping a loved one manage their health and well-being from a distance.”
 
In addition to connecting caregivers to local resources, the brochure lists common characteristics of caregivers and provides a set of questions to help caregivers self-identify.
 
“Caregivers may not recognize themselves as caregivers, but anyone who helps a relative or friend manage their daily needs is a caregiver, no matter where they are located,” said C. Grace Whiting, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving. “Caregivers often support the needs of relatives and friends while balancing their own needs. The invaluable resources mentioned in this brochure can help lighten the sometimes heavy load that can be associated with caregiving.”
 
Eldercare Locator
The Eldercare Locator is the only national information and referral resource to provide support to consumers across the spectrum of issues affecting older Americans. Established in 1991 and funded by the Administration for Community Living, the Eldercare Locator is administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
 
The Eldercare Locator’s website features a Caregiver Corner, which includes answers to questions caregivers ask the most often when they contact the Eldercare Locator. The website also contains a number of helpful publications that can assist long-distance caregivers as they coordinate support for their loved ones. Topics include medication management, elder abuse prevention, accessible transportation options, falls prevention, preventing financial exploitation and more. eldercare.acl.gov
 
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is a 501c(3) membership association representing America’s national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providing a voice in the nation’s capital for the more than 250 Title VI Native American aging programs. The mission of n4a is to build the capacity of its members so they can better help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. n4a.org
 
National Alliance for Caregiving
Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a nonprofit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. Recognizing that family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, NAC supports a national coalition of 60 organizations, a network of more than 80 state and local caregiving coalitions, and serves as Secretariat for the International Alliance of Carer Organizations. caregiving.org
 
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