Connecting Expectation and Reality: The Home Alone Alliance Takes Center Stage at Aging in America

Getting our research off the page and into policy and practice is a critical component of the Public Policy Institute’s work. We know that in order to help older adults, family caregivers of all ages and the professionals who support them, we need to back up our facts and research findings with concrete action steps.

At this week’s Aging in America, the national conference of the American Society on Aging, the Public Policy Institute and its key partners will showcase this through our work to support family caregivers, specifically those who perform complex medical/nursing tasks. Our session takes place on March 27 at 3:00PM EST in room Union Square 25.

Our session at ASA will focus on two key initiatives designed to support family caregivers who perform complex care tasks: The National CARE Act Scan, and the Home Alone Alliance SM. Each of these are a result of our foundational research, Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care, and show the power and importance of using research to drive policy and influence practice.

Conference Session Will Spotlight the Home Alone AllianceSM

The Home Alone Alliance will take center stage at our session, and each of our founding partners will discuss the important work this collaborative has undertaken. The Home Alone Alliance SM, named for the above mentioned Home Alone report, is a collaborative of AARP that brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector organizations to influence and change how health care organizations and professionals interface with family caregivers.

The Public Policy Institute’s director, Susan Reinhard, will kick off the session with an overview of the Home Alone Alliance’s activity to date, and will share a preview of what we plan to do over the next year.

Heather Young, Dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC, Davis, will provide an overview of the instructional resources we’ve developed for family caregivers that perform medical/nursing tasks, and the professionals who serve them. Dr. Young and her team at UC, Davis has been our lead clinical partner since the Home Alone Alliance SM’s inception.

Another key partner, Carol Levine of the United Hospital Fund, will be on hand to discuss some of the written resources the Home Alone Alliance SM has developed, as well as share insights from our formative and evaluation research that has helped shape our approach and development of these materials.

Kathy Kelly of the Family Caregiver Alliance will provide insight on this population of family caregivers more broadly and discuss what is being done as well as what can be done at the community-level to support those who perform these complex tasks.

We also look forward to attendees taking the opportunity to ask questions and share their own experiences and insights with us during this session.

On the Ground Activity: The National CARE Act Scan

An important piece of our overall Home Alone Alliance SM effort is the National CARE Act Scan. After the groundbreaking Home Alone was published almost six years ago, finding ways to help family caregivers who do these tasks has been a priority for the Public Policy Institute. Home Alone was instrumental in the crafting and passage of the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act, now law in 39 states and territories. Our work, however has not stopped at the law’s passage and we are now conducting a National CARE Act Scan to identify what hospitals and health systems are doing to bring the CARE Act to life. Rita Choula will be at our session and present highlights from the National CARE Act Scan to date, and share more about our plans for the National Scan in 2018 and beyond.

We are looking forward to our session at Aging in America and hope you will join us!

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