Association of California Caregiver Resource Centers

 

Action Requested:

Restoration of Funding Levels for the California Caregiver Resource Centers: 

5.6 million GF in 2018-19

 

In 2009, CRC funding was cut by 72%--one of the largest funding cuts of any health and human services program. The CRC total allocation has gone from $10.5 million to the current funding level of $4.9 million, after a modest restoration of $2 million in 2015, to serve 4.5 million family caregivers in California

Who are California’s Caregivers? Over 4.5 million Californians are providing unpaid care for a family member or friend1. The annual economic value of the 4,140,000,000 hours of unpaid labor provided by these California caregivers is approximately $57 billion. This is equivalent to 1.25 times total Medi-Cal spending.

What are Caregiver Resource Centers? Eleven community-based nonprofit Caregiver Resource Centers (CRCs) throughout the state serve families and other unpaid caregivers of adults affected by chronic health conditions and cognitive impairment, including dementia’s like Alzheimer’s Disease. Each Caregiver Resource Center offers a complement to care provided by families. Free or low-cost services include:

  • Comprehensive Assessment
  • Family Counseling and Consultation
  • Respite Care
  • Support Groups
  • Legal/Financial Consultation
  • Caregiver Education

 The Case for Supporting Family Caregivers Family caregivers play a key role in preventing care recipients from being re-admitted to the hospital2. Current estimates from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services suggest that 1 in 5 patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days3, making the support of caregivers critical. We also know that Interventions supporting family caregivers at discharge can increase the time between discharge and the next hospital admission4. Similar findings have been seen with nursing home admission, where high levels of informal care delays admission into a nursing home5. However, in families where caregivers experience poor mental health, there is an increased risk of nursing home and hospital admission6,7.

 

What Would Additional Funding Support? The partial restoration of funds in 2015 allowed the CRCs to begin to reinstate the core direct services through the hiring of additional clinical staff to strengthen their capacity to deliver services. Full restoration to the baseline funding of 2008 is vital, and would allow the CRCs to:

  • Restore core services, including respite care to serve the 5,000 caregivers on respite wait lists.
  • Restore operational capacity of the CRCs to meet the complex needs of family caregivers by:
    • Increasing the number of clients served, including services in rural areas
    • Increasing direct service staff to client ratio to reduce skilled nursing placement and hospital re-admission
    • Increasing the number of clients who receive counseling and consultation to address mental health needs of family caregivers

 

For information contact: Vicki Farrell at 530-872-2609 email: vfarrell@csuchico.edu      

For information contact: Erin Levi, Capitol Partners, at 916-930-0609 email:  levi@lobbycal.com

 

References

 1 Reinhard, S. C., Feinberg, L. F., Choula, R., & Houser, A. (2015). Valuing the invaluable: 2015 update. Insight on the Issues, 104.

2 Tao, H., Ellenbecker, C. H., Chen, J., Zhan, L., & Dalton, J. (2012). The influence of social environmental factors on rehospitalization among patients receiving home health care services. Advances in nursing science, 35(4), 346-358.

3 AARP. (August 2014) ‘Can Caregivers Help Reduce Hospital Readmissions?’ Available online at http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/caregiving-advocacy/info-2014/caregivers-reduce-readmissions.html

4 Coleman, E.A., Parry, C., Chalmers S., & Min, S.J. (2006) The Care Transitions Intervention: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Archives of Internal Medicine 166:1822-1828.

5 Van Houtven, C. H., & Norton, E. C. (2004). Informal care and health care use of older adults. Journal of health economics, 23(6), 1159-1180.

6 Longacre, M. L., Wong, Y. N., & Fang, C. Y. (2014). Caregiver Psychological Health and Hospitalization Characteristics of Older Adult Care Recipients: An Integrative Review of US Studies. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 7(3), 139-147.

7 Schwarz, K. A., & Elman, C. S. (2003). Identification of factors predictive of hospital readmissions for patients with heart failure. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 32(2), 88-99.