Hello Caregiver Support Initiative Stakeholders,
My name is Sarah Jahr, and I am the Initiatives Associate at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. Nick Tscheekar, copied on this message, and I are managing the Caregiver Support Initiative. I am reaching out to you because you have been identified as a stakeholder in our Caregiver Support Initiative. This initiative addresses the needs of unpaid family caregivers to seniors within Washoe County.
You may have attended our convenings in September and October. These convenings allowed caregivers to seniors and other stakeholders to voice their top concerns. We listened and learned from our community and it is time to act. Here are the tactics the Community Foundation is now taking:
Build A Caregiver Listserv
A Listserv will be created for caregivers to share their experiences and advice on caregiving through email. Any person in our community will be able to sign up for the Listserv. They will then be able to submit a specific question about caregiving (e.g. My mom is 81 and is having trouble getting in and out of the bath. Do you have any suggestions of how to help?). Any person who is part of the Listserv is then able to respond directly to the person who asked the question. The Community Foundation will be screening the questions and responses to ensure that they are relevant to senior caregiving.
Create A Comprehensive Resource Database
In partnership with the Sanford Center for Aging and the University of Nevada School of Medicine, the Community Foundation is creating a comprehensive database of resources for caregivers to seniors within Washoe County. The resource database will be accessible online and in print. Users will be able to search for specific terms based on their situation so they only receive information that is relevant to them. Each listed provider will be contacted twice annually to verify their posting is up to date. Free printed versions of the resource list will be made twice annually and the website will also have printer friendly pages so users can easily print pages specific to their need.
After the website and printed guides are complete, extensive community outreach will be continuously implemented through advertising and in-person training to ensure family caregivers, service providers, and anyone who may need to make a referral (e.g. paramedics, librarians, discharge planners, medical social workers, and others) know how to navigate the resource guide
Develop A Caregiver Guidebook
The Community Foundation is developing a caregiver guidebook to give to new caregivers. Discharge planners can give the guidebook to caregivers at the time their family member is released from the hospital or a medical facility. The guidebook will cover the caregiver experience and contain information on numerous caregiving topics including answers to frequently asked questions, respite care, speaking with health care professionals, and other issues. In addition to hospitals and medical facilities, the guidebook will be available at non-profit organizations, service provider offices, community centers, and other locations.
We are excited to see these plans move forward and will be sending you monthly updates on the Caregiver Support Initiative. If you have any questions about the Caregiver Support Initiative or would like to get further involved, please feel free to call the Community Foundation at 775-333-5499.
Thank you for your support.