Report on family caregiving in the US

The title of this article in Huffington Post is “Everything That’s Wrong With Caregiving In America Today.”  The author describes a recent report of family caregiving in the US by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.  The article highlights seven ways in which “public policy lags woefully behind today’s reality” for caregiving.  Here are a few excerpts:

* “You can’t care for the patient without caring about the caregiver. And nobody cares about caregivers.”

* “Caregivers have told us how they lose themselves and life becomes entirely centered on the patient. … Instead of delivering ‘patient-centered’ care, health-care providers should adopt ‘family-centered’ models that include making sure that caregivers don’t lose their identities ― or minds.”

* “Caregiving can actually kill you. … Family caregivers were found to have lower physical well-being, higher stress levels, higher rates of chronic disease, and greater risk for depression, social isolation and financial losses than their non-caregiving counterparts.”

* “Caregivers are daughters, sons, and spouses. They are not skilled nurses. … Caregivers do what nurses used to. They deal with feeding and drainage tubes, catheters, dialysis ports and other complicated medical devices; they perform wound care, deliver injections, test and record glucose and blood pressure; they perform personal hygiene tasks for their patients and prepare dietician-directed meals. They do a whole bunch of other things that they never in a million years would have thought they would be asked to do and many of those tasks are extremely unpleasant.”

* “Until you’ve become a caregiver, you just have no idea what it entails these days.”

* “Caregivers are often unwilling participants and most always voiceless ones.”

* “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) law protects a patient’s privacy and can mean the doctor doesn’t have to talk to family caregivers.”

Here’s a link to the article:

This Is Everything That’s Wrong With Caregiving In America Today
Public policy lags woefully behind today’s reality.
By Ann Brenoff  
The Huffington Post    
September 22, 2016