On June 5, 2012, Altarum Institute hosted a special health policy roundtable examining the topic of family caregiving, as seen through the eyes and experiences of prominent women authors Eleanor Clift, Lynn Alexander, Dr. Muriel Gillick, Dr. Joanne Lynn and Dr. Cheryl Woodson. This roundtable was held in partnership with Detroit Public Television and supported by local and national cosponsors.
View the 30-minute Detroit Public Television program: Caregivers Confronting the Care System.
The program will air on Detroit Public TV on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 10:30 p.m. Please check the local listings.
Speak Up! Influential Women Give Voice to the Challenges of Elder Care - June 5, 2012
The full-day roundtable began with a 2-hour morning session with the authors, moderated by Eleanor Clift. The panelists—three of them geriatricians and all of them influential social commentators and family caregivers—described the challenges they have faced in responding to their loved ones’ or patients’ declining health. Throughout the session, the panel discussed the need for improved communications among all health professionals, patients, and caregivers; the importance of social and public policies that support caregivers, who face financial, emotional, and physical challenges related to caregiving; the need for coordinated, documented care plans and advance directives; and the usefulness of electronic health records to coordinate care. Ms. Clift ended the discussion by pointing out that Baby Boomers have consistently been one of the most productive and vocal generations in our nation’s history and are well-positioned to “apply common sense, intellect and good will to solve the problems caused by ‘the silver tsunami’.” She echoed the panel members’ call to develop a community response to caring for older Americans, develop an effective and affordable health care system, and encourage caregivers to share their insights learned to foster meaningful change.
Filmed at the studios of Detroit Public Television (DPTV), the roundtable attracted a studio audience of 115 Michiganders; nearly 150 people around the country also watched the online streaming version. DPTV filmed the morning session and will edit that footage for a 30-minute national broadcast. A recording of the full morning session is available on-line at www.altarum.org/roundtablejune5.
Following the morning panel, Altarum and its cosponsors hosted a respondents’ panel luncheon where local and national leaders in caregiving responded to the morning session and offered a Michigan perspective on the issues. Roundtable participants also had an opportunity to participate in breakout sessions to discuss the issues, possible solutions, and next steps. These sessions addressed what had been discussed in the morning panel, the opportunities participants saw for the community, what specific recommendations could be made, and the role philanthropy would have in the work.
The program was filled with energetic conversations, passionate people, and important perspectives – all with a focus on caregiving and end-of-life issues and possible action steps. The roundtable was also a valuable opportunity to convene local and national leaders for productive discussions on this important topic. Many innovative ideas were proposed and participants expressed substantial interest in future work. Altarum and our local partners are going to continue to meet and move forward on these issues.
Altarum would like to thank the following organizations for cosponsoring this event: AARP Michigan, Hospice of Michigan, Area Agency on Aging 1-B, Beaumont Health System, and Mall Malisow & Cooney, P.C. Altarum also gratefully acknowledges the following individual donors: Terri Wilkerson and Jim Lee, and an Anonymous Friend of the Altarum Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness. Additionally, we thank the following organizations for their in-kind contributions: Council of Michigan Foundations, Disruptive Women in Healthcare, Inforum, Institute of Medicine, Long-Term Quality Alliance, National Alliance for Caregiving, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, National Council on Aging, National Family Caregivers Association, National Hospice Work Group, OWL - The Voice of Midlife and Older Women, and Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology.
Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness
Altarum Institute’s Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness was launched a year ago as part of an internally chartered research program. The Center focuses on helping the United States achieve social arrangements that ensure that when we must live with serious chronic illnesses associated with advancing age, we can count on living meaningfully and comfortably at a sustainable cost to our families and society. As part of this work, the Center conducts research, designs and implements demonstration projects, advocates in the policy arena, and works to promote and inform public perspectives. The Center’s work is led by Dr. Joanne Lynn, a hospice physician, educator and tireless advocate on behalf of frail elders. As we face unprecedented numbers of people growing old over the coming years, we must deal with the issues facing our aging society.
To learn more about the ongoing work of the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, please email email@example.com or phone 202-776-5100. Additional information about the Center’s work in care transitions is also available at www.medicaring.org.