Survey validates growing need for caregiver support

Survey validates growing need for caregiver support

Over 85% of adults enrolled in day programs have a family caregiver.

OAKLAND, Calif. — As the baby boomer population ages, the demand for caregiver and other support services is increasing at a rapid pace. The current population of 183,000 people age 65+ in Alameda County is expected to increase 21% within five years and double by 2030. “There are 13 centers in Alameda County that serve 1,500 adults who attend a day program two to five days per week; the family caregiver support services are a critical part of the offering,” reports Anne Warner-Reitz, Executive Director of Adult Day Services Network of Alameda County (ADSNAC).

ADSNAC conducted a survey in January 2014 to obtain updated program statistics. It revealed a larger-than-anticipated number of program participants have a family caregiver. Other key findings include:

  • 90% are over 65 while 67% are over 75 years of age
  • 58% have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia
  • 78% have hypertension, 42% diabetes, and 37% a physician diagnosed mental illness.
  • Participants take an average of eight medications a day, while 100% have two or more chronic health conditions and functional limitations.
  • 95% are low income and 80% are an ethnic minority
  • 86% (1,200) of the program participants have a family caregiver
  • 80% live with that caregiver; 55% of caregivers are adult children; 17% are spouses/partners.

The presence of multiple health conditions – both physical and mental – increases the risk of institutionalization for older adults. Having support services, including the availability of an adult day program, can help people remain living at home longer. “The adult day centers provide a warm and welcoming environment that can help reduce feelings of depression that can occur from isolation and experiencing loss. They also provide health monitoring and work closely with physicians, integrating social services, physical therapy and other treatment as needed for this at-risk population,” adds Warner-Reitz.

The centers also provide much needed respite for caregivers who also receive emotional and practical support around caregiving.

ADSNAC’s mission is to increase awareness and access to support services for seniors and adults with disabilities as well as their caregivers. As a non-profit organization, they are funded by grants and donations . Their annual fundraising event features Robert Reich as the keynote speaker on April 10, 2014 at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. He will speak about aging, healthcare, the necessity of a living wage, and how change will come about. Proceeds will benefit daytime care for seniors and adults with disabilities. Tickets can be purchased on www.eventbrite.com (search Robert Reich) or by contacting
ADSNAC.

About ADSNAC

Adult Day Services Network of Alameda County consists of 13 centers that provide daytime care for seniors and adults with disabilities. Each of the centers offers a safe, social and enriching environment with health and support services to individuals, caregivers and health professionals.

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