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Expert Panel to Develop New Approaches for Solving Caregiving Crisis

Panel Will Participate in Consensus Conference Examining National Caregiver
                             Training Standards   NEW YORK, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ 

    -- The Caregiving Project for Older 
Americans announced the formation of a panel of national experts to develop
new solutions for the growing crisis in caring for older adults. The
project is a joint collaboration of the International Longevity Center-USA
(ILC-USA) and the Schmieding Center for Senior Health & Education (SCSHE).
    Growing numbers of people are finding it increasingly difficult to
obtain affordable, quality care. At the same time as the available pool of
family caregivers is shrinking, the caregiving industry is experiencing a
severe, and worsening, shortage of paid professional caregivers. Low wages,
few fringe benefits, unpleasant working conditions, emotional and physical
burdens of the job and the lack of a real possibility for career
development all contribute to the critical shortage of paid caregivers in
the United States.
    The expert panel, convened and led by co-project directors Dr. Robert
Butler and Dr. Larry Wright, will consider what is known about the current
state of affairs of professional and family home caregiving, particularly
the preparedness and training of the caregivers; the growing need for more
and better quality home-based care now and in the future; and the gaps
between the available professional caregiver workforce and future needs.
    The Caregiving Project for Older Americans has brought together
representatives from a variety of fields including caregiving, geriatric
medicine, nursing, health policy and social work to serve on the expert
panel. Panel member Gail Gibson Hunt, president and CEO of the National
Alliance for Caregiving, also serves as Senior Advisor on the project.
    Members include:
    -- Dr. Marie A. Bernard, Chairman, Donald W. Reynolds Department of
       Geriatric Medicine, University of Oklahoma
    -- Dr. Claudia Beverly, Director, University of Arkansas for Medical
       Services, Center on Aging
    -- Dr. Jeremy Boal, Director, Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program
    -- Dr. John Crews, Lead Scientist, Disability and Health Team, National
       Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for
       Disease Control and Prevention
    -- Steven L. Dawson, President, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute
    -- Dr. Linda Emanuel, Director, Buehler Center on Aging, Northwestern
       University's Feinberg School of Medicine
    -- Lynn Friss Feinberg, Deputy Director, National Center on Caregiving,
       Family Caregiver Alliance
    -- Claudia Fine, Chief Professional Officer, SeniorBridge Family Companies
    -- Mary Jo Gibson, Senior Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute
    -- Rick Greene, Aging Program Specialist, U.S. Department of Health and
       Human Services, Administration on Aging, DHHS National Family Caregiver
       Support Program
    -- Gail Gibson Hunt, President and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving;
       Senior Advisor to The Caregiving Project for Older Americans
    -- Dr. Robert Kane, Professor and Minnesota Chair in Long-Term Care and
       Aging, Health Policy & Management, University of Minnesota School of
       Public Health
    -- Carole Levine, Director, United Hospital Fund, Families and Health Care
    -- Dr. Diane E. Meier, Director, Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute,
       Mount Sinai Medical Center
    -- Dr. Jeanette Takamura, Dean, Columbia University School of Social Work
    -- Dr. Sandra Timmermann, Director, MetLife Mature Market Institute
    "The knowledge and experience of this stellar group of experts will
contribute immeasurably to the effort to improve caregiving for older
adults," said Dr. Robert Butler, president and CEO of the ILC-USA and
co-director of the project. "Each member's expertise will inform the
projects consideration of legislation, regulations, and practices that will
shape the future of caregiving in America."
    A consensus conference, to be held in late March, will be the first
official gathering of the group. The one-day conference will examine
existing caregiver training programs and explore the development of
national training standards for in-home caregiver, both family and paid
    "There is an urgent need for the professional training of family,
volunteer, and in-home paid caregivers," says Dr. Larry Wright, director of
the SCSHE and co-director of the project. "At present, there is no
nationally accepted caregiver curriculum-this an impediment to ensuring an
adequate supply of quality care in the United States."
    The Caregiving Project for Older Americans is sponsored by the generous
support of Schmieding Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Amgen Foundation and
Pfizer Inc.
    About The Caregiving for Older Americans Project
    The Caregiving Project for Older Americans is an action-oriented
collaboration that aims to improve the nation's caregiving work force
through training, the establishment of standards, and the creation of a
career ladder. A joint venture of the International Longevity Center-USA
(ILC-USA) and the Schmieding Center for Senior Health & Education (SCSHE),
the effort combines the talents of a policy research center with a clinical
outpatient and health education program. To learn more about the project
visit http://www.ilcusa.org/prj/caregiving.htm.
    About the International Longevity Center-USA
    The International Longevity Center-USA (ILC-USA) is a research policy
organization in New York City and has sister centers in Europe, Asia, Latin
America and Africa. Led by Dr. Robert N. Butler, a world renowned physician
specializing in geriatrics, the Center is a non-for-profit, non-partisan
organization with a staff of economists, medical and health researchers,
demographers and others who study the impact of population aging on
society. The ILC-USA focuses on combating ageism, healthy aging, productive
engagement and the financing of old age. The ILC-USA is an independent
affiliate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is incorporated as a
tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. More information on the ILC-USA can be found
at http://www.ilcusa.org
    About the Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education of
Northwest Arkansas
    The Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education of Northwest
Arkansas (SCSHE), located in Springdale, Arkansas, provides older adults
and their families with education, healthcare, information resources and
other services for more positive aging. Education services include unique
in-home caregiver training programs, public programs on positive aging, and
professional programs to improve the geriatric expertise of healthcare
professionals and students. Healthcare services include comprehensive
clinical care and rehabilitation by an interdisciplinary team of geriatric
professionals. The Schmieding Center is a partnership of the University of
Arkansas for Medical Sciences Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, the
Area Health Education Center-Northwest, and Northwest Health System. More
information on SCSHE is available at http://www.schmiedingcenter.org.

SOURCE The Caregiving Project for Older Americans

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