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- Rosalynn Carter

ROSALYNN CARTER INSTITUTE FOR CAREGIVING

www.rosalynncarter.org

The aging population in Howard County is growing by leaps

and bounds; by 2035 those persons 50 and older will increase by

60.7 percent, and by 2035 the number of persons over 75 years

of age will comprise 11 percent of the population. Addressing

the needs of caregivers has become a targeted goal of the Howard

County Department of Community Resources and Services

and the Office on Aging and Independence. In our Creating an

Age-Friendly Community Report, which was published in 2015,

caregiving was one of six major priorities in achieving a preferred

future. Our charge is to “promote the physical, emotional and

financial well-being of caregivers, as well as those for whom they

care”. (Howard County, Age Friendly Community Report, 2015)

The words love, duty, honor, and reciprocity all are used to

describe reasons family members care for one another. We as

a nation and as a county must ensure that family caregivers are

supported by quality targeted services that recognize them as care

partners, by providing resources and help accessing tools to better

navigate their caregiving efforts.

Caregiving today takes place in a different kind of world that

our grandparents lived in. Family structures are different and

more complex, with an evolution from a rural to an increasingly

urban and suburban environment. Not to mention families often

are spread across the country leaving few if no family members

to look out for or care for one another. Caregivers often don’t

know where to turn for help or how to pay for needed services and

supports. They may live apart from their loved one, have a job, a

family and are expected to provide complex technical care which

10 years ago would have been considered skilled nursing care.

The caregiver support program is committed

to our focus areas as outlined in our

“CREATING AN AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY”

report.

• Develop an expanded, coordinated network of

resources and supports for caregivers to include needs

assessment, care management and respite care.

• Expand training opportunities for caregivers that

can be available in multiple formats to best suit the

individual caregiver.

• Develop strategies to enhance the recruitment,

education and retention of direct care workers,

including options for housing and transportation.

“There are only four kinds

of people in the world -

those who have been

caregivers, those who

are currently caregivers,

those who will be

caregivers and those who

will need caregivers

.”

Valuable resources used in writing this article:

www.ASAaging.org

www.howardcountymd.gov/aging

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H OWA R D C O U N T Y C A R E G I V E R G U I D E