February 12,, 2014
Caregiver support group, Healthy Aging Task Force
Present: Mary Beth Daniels, Inez Janger, Roberta Raimon, Rozetta Hughes, Stanley Schonbrun, Polly Simpkins, Terre Young.
As we welcomed Polly to our work, introductions started our meeting. Our first item for discussion was to change the length of our meetings by a half hour. We will meet from 1:30 to 3, extending our time to have enough time for the exchange of information.
For the sake of orientation we asked a few questions; What is our job? What do informal caregivers need? What is not available, what is needed?
To answer: Our job is to look at services for caregivers here on island, find the gaps; look at models of support off island, bring to the island what will work and survive here as support to caregivers.
Terre and Mary Beth offered summaries of gathered information about what AARP offers, and the various island health provider agencies. All of the information reported has been made available via attachments in emails.
Next we focused on the draft of our work plan. As we are in the research phase, we have a pretty good grasp on the inventory of existing services. We need to focus on caregiverís needs. It will be helpful to know how many caregivers we have on island and it was suggested that we can us AARPís formulas with numbers of townís populations which Rosetta provided. Mary Beth offered to use these numbers of year round folks with the formula and bring us the estimated numbers of caregivers by town.
To the question, what are caregiversí needs? We talked of forming a focus group, inviting caregivers to understand their needs. After much discussion and exchange of ideas we decided we could find actual caregivers by reaching out to clergy, COAs and support groups and ask them directly.
Thoughts for our future work: We want to make certain to provide for underserved caregivers in our work plan, now and in the future. We will look through other models and find best practices: needs, financial, respite, peer groups. Do needs change? How do we address different stages? What if the caregiver becomes ill, what will happen? This is a definite concern among the caregivers in our group.
Our next meetingís work will continue with the work plan, which is due to the coordinating committee by February 28th. After that, we will make assignments for our next steps. Polly and Stanley will ask Allison McKinley and Victoria Haselbarth for their input relating to our questions.
As Hospice is having their annual meeting on Wednesday the 12th, we ask if our next meeting could be moved to Friday, March 14th at 1:30 in the hospice office.
Respectfully submitted, Terre D. Young