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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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Home health, hospice nurses in OR call for union contract agreement; MS ranks low among states for long-term care services, supports; and a look at how adopting children changed the lives of two Texas women.

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Former Vice President Mike Pence reportedly tells investigators more details about efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley wins the endorsement of a powerful Koch brothers' network and a Senate committee targets judicial activists known to lavish gifts upon Supreme Court justices.

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Congress has iced the long-awaited Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents speak out about a planned road through Alaska's Brooks Range a dream destination for hunters and angler.

IN family caregivers need more support

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023   

About 790,000 Hoosiers are family caregivers for relatives in declining physical or mental health. But Indiana ranks fairly low in support for family caregivers on the latest AARP national scorecard
for Long-Term Care Services and Supports. It's 39th compared to other states.

As Indiana transitions away from reliance on nursing-home care into more home and community-based services, families play an even bigger role.

Marvell Adams Jr., CEO of the online resource 'CaregiverAction.org, said support is improving. He said 30 years ago, a caregiver's duties were not clearly defined, and support was nearly nonexistent.

"The organization really was started out of the notion that caregivers really did need to have a voice in order for their role not only to be more effective, but also they could be understood and respected as a vital part of an individual's treatment plan," Adams said.

Adams added family caregivers need to safeguard their own health in order to provide the most effective care. He also advises frequent communication with physicians and keeping medical and legal documents organized and easily accessible. According to AARP, family members in Indiana provide unpaid care worth more than $10 million a year.

For many families, caregiving doesn't even happen in the same household. The National Institute on Aging defines a long-distance caregiver as one who lives an hour or more away from the person being cared for, often by a local relative. Adams suggested coming up with strategies to pitch in remotely.

"Long-distance caregivers are going to want and need information; they're going to want and need insight. Being able to plan out visits in advance -- perhaps the caregiver
that is local can plan for that, whether it's for their own respite or for checking in with doctor's visits, but being able to set that up ahead of time," Adams said.

The NIA says long-distance caregivers can also help with preparing a living will or researching long-term care choices.

According to the site healthinaging.org,' of the 34 million Americans who care for older family members, roughly 15% do so long-distance.


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