Resources for Working Caregivers led by Debbie Howard and Christina Keys in Rethinking Aging Club, hosted by Michael Phillips, Rick Robinson, Steve Ewell and Linda Sherman … It’s National Family Caregivers Month. 75% of caregivers also work full-time. This session generated a great convo and list of service companies, community-based orgs, start-ups and more. Enjoy!
3:57PM Nov 4, 2021
Nathalie de Vazeille
Good morning, Michael. You How are you? Good. You opened the room so you have to give us our moderator badges. Thank you
doing that right now.
And how are you?
Good. I'm setting up Otto.ai with a title now for working caregivers. And we should be pinging anybody who is here now if you can please hit that plus sign at the bottom right and invite your friends to join us. That would be wonderful. And I'm going to put up Debbie's Linkedin post for our pinned link.
Yeah, that was those are some great resources that you link to Debbie.
Thank you. Well, everybody kind of chipped in and yeah, it was it's quite the list. I was really happy with that. Yeah, it's gonna get bigger to hopefully during the group.
Yes, more and hopefully we want to get people to add as comments. But Debbie, if you if you're able to edit anything in as we go along, that will be helpful.
Okay, I think I'll take notes Linda and have to do it afterwards. I'm a little challenged with multitasking that way. But yeah, if I can, I will, but I'm getting better every day.
Okay, I'm gonna make Christina a moderator. And so, Debbie, if you want to, for people you've invited like, Benjamin - I'm going to go ahead and invite Benjamin up to speak. As you spot people coming in, just go ahead and bring them up.
So for everybody who was not aware, we are recording this session with otter AI which is also giving us captioning. We're so pleased today to be doing Resources for Working Caregivers, and Debbie Howard and Christina Keys as our leaders for this program. And as you know, Debbie, you've seen Debbie Howard in our rooms week after week. We're so happy to have her. She is an expert both in market research and in caregiving with a couple of hats is still chairman of a major market research company in Japan as well as she is founder of Aging Matters International and the Caregiving Journey. Christina Keys is with Caregiving.com and I'm going to let both of them introduce themselves when they get going. Because Christina is also president at Loving Them Forward. And I'm passing it over to Michael first.
I think it might for today's topic, I think it might be more apropos for Debbie to kind of share her thoughts and what we hope to accomplish in the next hour. Then I'm happy to share some thoughts as well.
Okay, go ahead, Debbie.
Okay, thank you so much, Linda and Michael. So, thank you for everyone for coming to the room. I am Debbie Howard. as Linda mentioned, we know each other from Japan from way back in the mid 80s. And I'm a market researcher but I'm also a caregiving advocate and I'm loving these clubhouse rooms where we can spread our messages and get more dialogue going on all things caregiver related. So today, what we're going to be doing everyone in this room I know knows about the problem. So we're not going to go over the problem. The details but obviously we have 53 million caregivers and 75% of those work full time. So today, in honor of November, being national family caregivers month we'll be focusing on resources for working caregivers and naturally there's an overlap between what helps non working caregivers and working caregivers. There's quite a bit of overlap. But we're just going to be looking at that whole world of resources for for caregivers today. I am co moderating today with Christina Keyes and I'm going to ask Christina to introduce herself. Now. Christina is an expert community builder and she's the director of community growth for caregiving comm among other hats that she wears Christina would you like to briefly introduce yourself?
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Debbie. Yes, my name is Christina Keyes, and I am the director of community growth with Caregiving.com. I also am the founder, president of a hyperlocal nonprofit in Vancouver, Washington called Loving Them Forward, which offers resources education, training and support for caregivers as well as caregiver appreciation events. My name is Christina and I'm done talking.
Thanks, Christina. And I might just call to your attention that up at the top of the page, you'll see a link a pinned link and this is the link that is on LinkedIn promoting this event this room and you are able to I think if you, Linda, correct me if I'm wrong, but somehow I think I'm going to be adding links that you mentioned during this room. If you mentioned a link during this room. I'll try to make sure that it gets added to the list of resources that's already there. Is that right Linda?
Yes, because you're the only one who can edit the LinkedIn. However, if people wish to be helpful, they could add it as a comment which would really help you out.
Yes, thank you. And if you you can add it in the back channel down to the right hand. There's a little a little triangle icon down there with a back channel where you could actually put the links in there to me as well.
Yes, that is a helpful way for Debbie to be able to grab links. Thank you. Correct.
Okay, great. Well, we have a wealth of experience in this room. And we're going to ask everyone we've brought some speakers up, but we're going to be bringing up more as they arrive. We'd like to ask each speaker to keep your comments to two to three minutes so that everyone can have a chance to talk and then Christina and I will make sure to come back around to you for further comments near nearer as the group goes on as the session goes through. Mute your mics when you're not talking please. And for those of you in the audience who aren't up on stage yet, if you would like to come up on stage, there's a little hand with a note icon down there. You can raise your hand and and we'll be looking for that and we'll bring you up if you like to make a comment. So let's get going. Thank you so much for being here. All of you. And I'd like to start with Michael Phillips, of AARP, who is one of the hosts of this room. And Michael, would you like to say a few words and we'll we'll get going.
Thank you. Thanks a lot. I appreciate it. Linda and Debbie. You know, I see a lot of new faces here and we've been we've been meeting here on clubhouse for most of 2021 on Thursdays during this time slot, talking about all kinds of all kinds of issues. And topics around products for 50 Plus, my focus is mainly on tech products and older adults and digital inclusion. And we've had some fantastic conversations about that more related to that the caregiving dilemmas always pop up and whatever we're talking about this in this clubhouse room so really cool that we're really focused on caregivers and especially the working caregivers and how we can provide solutions and overcome barriers for them. Not my main focus, but that's awesome today to have my amazing colleagues that are very knowledgeable in this subject here with us. So I'm sure we'll hear from Reema later. Reema heads up all of our strategic partnerships in this space, and has just a wealth of knowledge. And another colleague of mine, Laura is with us today. And I haven't spoken to Laura about the research but I've read the research and I hope that all of you have read the research on working caregivers that Debbie links to this fantastic work. So Laura, do you mind sharing some thoughts on the research and what you felt like were the most important findings from that and anything else that your team is doing in this space and we of course we'd love to hear your personal views as well. This is, you know, a space where we can talk personally and we can talk from some of the work that we're doing at AARP.
Yeah, sure. Thank you, Michael. Nice to meet you all, everyone. I'm Laura Skufca from AARP's research group. I do a lot of the work in AARP on family caregiving, and we've been focusing a lot lately on working caregivers. And they've really we did a study actually, in the middle of the summer as we anticipated kind of everything returning to normal after Labor Day and we know that delta kind of changed the path of that but that was kind of our intent when we went to to survey working caregivers to really understand what are the concerns that they have as they re-enter back into the workplace, many of which have been working at home. What benefits that they were awarded while they've been working at home and just concerns and resources that they may need as they kind of transitioned back into the workplace. And what we found is that, you know, working caregivers experience stress, you know, at any point in time, but COVID really amped it up. It's like 80% of caregivers said that the pandemic increased their stress. About half of them got new benefits, you know, like flexibility, being able to work from home, or compressed schedules, alternate schedules as a result of the pandemic and it really helped them, most of them, I think over half of them said that 'this helped me a great deal'. It's helping them manage as caregivers, you know, have had a lot of difficulty managing their time. And so we were looking at what do they want for a post pandemic workplace and what it is is flexibility is key. They need this flexibility. It really helps them manage both the workplace and their caregiving responsibilities. They have a lot of concerns as they're reentering the workspace and primarily their concerns center around the Coronavirus and being exposed themselves or bringing the virus home, usually the older adult they care for, but they're also concerned now about leaving that person home alone who's now had someone with them for a while. So what they're looking for now is flexibility. They're looking forward so much that they wouldn't consider a new job. They would leave their company consider a new job if there was a company that would offer them the flexibility that they need. And so we know that a lot of employers have instituted benefits as a result of the pandemic. I think the permanency of these benefits still, you know, kind of remains to be seen, but we know that they're helping family caregivers and we hope that much of them are here to stay. So that's kind of a summary of what we found. I don't know if anyone has questions or I don't know, Michael, if you want me to go into it more, but that's kind of a high level summary of the research that we did this summer. As always, we're doing a lot of work on working caregivers. We have whole resources online for both employers. And the caregivers themselves, you know, ways to manage time, resources and benefits to help them manage.
Thanks so much, Laura. That was really really good and I highly recommend the report to everyone. It's really easy to read and digest and it's got some great current information. It just came out in July. Right, Laura?
Okay, all right. Great. Very current. Alright. Reema, did you have any comments to add to what Laura had to say?
Hi, Debbie, thank you for including me today. And I will first briefly say I'm Reema Jweied-Guegel. I head up, as Michael said, the partnerships for the enterprise around caregiving, and I am in awe of everything that Laura and Michael do. So I don't have anything to add except that what I would stress is part of the challenge that we face. Now I am speaking from a personal perspective, because what drew me to work at AARP is the fact that I am also a family caregiver, and I think it's having access to these resources, having the ability to come on and speak with others like this clubhouse room, and then having the opportunity to help others in this space is really what AARP is all about. So, with that, I will go offline. I'll speak later. Thank you.
Thank you, Reema and Steve Ewell, I see we have you in the audience and up here as well. Would you like to say a few words? Steve is one of our regular moderators here in this group.
Sure. Thanks, Debbie. And happy to join again today. For people who don't know me I head up the Consumer Technology Association Foundation, and I think today's topic is really an incredible opportunity as we look at the programs that we support and fund using technology to help older adults and people with disabilities. A major part of that is looking at some of the solutions that can be useful for the caregivers as well. So we funded programs that use everything from just communication techniques to help people in rural communities, connect different caregivers together and share information to even more advanced technologies like augmented reality in ways that that might be useful for caregivers so very excited to hear what the group has to share today. And this is Steve and I'm done speaking.
Thank you, Steve. Lisa Kendall, I don't want to put you on the spot. But you have such a great story about the background of the attention on caregivers in the workplace. Could you just say a few comments about that? And may I just ask everyone to briefly introduce yourself before you say your comments.
Thank you, Debbie. This is Lisa Kendall. I am a social worker and a clinical gerontologist. I recently retired from a psychotherapy practice where I specialized in working with family caregivers and people who are living with health issues. And it was trauma informed practice. So we were really paying attention to the issues that caregivers have where there has been some kind of dysfunction in the family. Thank you, Debbie for mentioning my background. I've been doing this work for almost 40 years and was able to be very involved with the sort of the rise of the first wave of organizations, companies, higher education, getting involved with doing something for their employees who are caregivers, I've worked for work family elder directions serving fortune 500 companies, and I've also worked at Cornell University, which has a really robust program to support family caregivers. So is that enough of that background? Debbie or I don't want to go on?
Sure. That's great. I just I just always like to make the point that this is not a new problem in our society. And you're one of my best evidences of that.
Yeah, I was there for a lot of that and and really serving, hopefully on the cutting edge of that. And maybe later on, I can just touch base, Debbie, because there there is some information about caregivers who are trying to do care in families where there's been abuse or neglect of some kind and the amount of stress that they're under - because there are some resources. And that's it for me.
That would be very helpful. Thank you, Lisa. Another another person I'd like to bring up is MaryAnne Sterling. We know each other from about five years back and MaryAnne is another person involved in a long good fight. So MaryAnne, if you could just say a few words about that and and then take us into your solution that you were inspired to create. Thank you.
Thanks, Debbie. Thankyou for having me today. I'm MaryAnne Sterling. I'm actually a former caregiver for multiple parents with dementia and a longtime advocate in the Alzheimer's community. You'll generally find me either on Capitol Hill or speaking at healthcare conferences around the country. My actually day job, I am the EVP of caregiver experience at Livpact. And as Debbie mentioned, we do have a solution for working caregivers. And this came about from my personal experience and frustrations as a caregiver. I joined up with some like minded individuals, one of whom is a longtime engineer in Silicon Valley. And we've actually built a platform that helps working caregivers manage the entire care process and care journey from their phone, tablet or computer. The application is actually free to consumers and families. We also tailor solutions for organizations who want to support the health journeys of their members or constituents. In fact, right now, we're partnered with our friends at the Lewy Body Dementia Association LBDA, for those who don't know them, and we are providing our platform both for LBDA staff, the support group leaders and their constituents with Lewy Body Dementia. So we're really excited about this project and we're hoping it will be a model and roadmap for many more to come. This is MaryAnne and I'm done speaking.
Thanks so much, MaryAnne. And I'd like to move now to Paige Wilson of Naborforce. Paige - Could you introduce yourself briefly and tell us about your solution?
Oh sure. I'm Paige Wilson. I'm the founder of a company called Naborforce. Formerly an investment banker, but like many of us experienced some caregiving strains of my own when my mom started needing a little bit of help. And what I discovered was that there's a feels like a big void between when older adults are fully independent or getting help from their family until they start needing regular, you know, homecare, CNAs, PCAs nursing, etc. And so when I went through it the whole time, I just kept thinking, gosh, she doesn't need that. Yeah, I just need another me. And so that's what Naborforce is. So we are a tech enabled platform that connects older adults and their family caregivers, to a network of compassionate community members. We call them neighbors. They're mostly empty nesters and retirees and it's a little bit like Uber with a heart but they are on demand and can pop in for you know, as little as an hour. There's no contract. So I think Laura was talking about employees looking for flexibility and worried now about leaving people home alone. We do a lot of that and we just launched a few weeks ago Naborforce for Laborforce. And we are working with employers and have the two largest in our main market that have signed on it's not a hard sell. They are looking for other ways to support those family caregivers. And some of them don't really yet get the elder care side of it. There's been so much focus on child care, but when they understand how much it's impacting their workforce, it's pretty easy. So a lot of them have backup care that's maybe through Bright Horizons or something that's the more regular care but not this on demand piece but really excited to be here. This is a great bunch of folks. I'm Paige and I'm finished.
Thanks so much Paige and that's great - Naborforce for Laborforce. I love it. So Christina Keys; my co-moderator; of Caregiving.com - I know that you all have a wealth of resources there. Could you tell us about those?
Absolutely. I'm Christina. And I am with Caregiving.com. And this is a topic that's near and dear to my heart, resources for working caregivers. I actually had to leave my career my nine to five career in 2017 because of lack of knowledge of resources as a caregiver, and I'm still a caregiver for my mother today. Just not working nine to five. So caregiving.com offers a lot of great resources like caregiving articles, speakers, authors, podcasts, forums, caregiver stories and local resources. And right now one of the things that we're doing is we're building and deploying an army of over 200 caregivers in cities across the US and Canada that are working with caregivers and companies who work with seniors and family members with disabilities. So what I would say is if you have a resource like Naborforce sounds amazing, if you have any type of resource, if you want to let me know, we can certainly let our caregivers that are in the local communities know where they're sharing with other caregivers. And it's no cost to you, for our caregivers to refer families to you as well. So if you have a resource, you can certainly connect with me. I've got everything, all the ways to connect with me on my bio here, but we're really working with a lot of you already. And that's growing too with the amount of resources that we're having our caregivers share in their local communities. So actually, Debbie, I'd love to hear now from Benjamin Surmi, who is amazing at sharing some resources for families as well. My name is Christina and I'm done speaking.
Fantastic Benjamin, we'd love to hear your your recommendations because I know you have a lot of good ideas. Thank you.
Exciting, exciting group here. Oh my gosh, wow. Like I'm with a bunch of old friends who I've never met, it's awesome. I'm Benjamin I'm with Koelsch Communities and one of the things I do is run Koelsch Innovation Lab where we test different services and technologies and innovations and get to know their founders and share them on live streams and implement them in in some of our communities across the country. But I think why Debbie and Christina were interested in me saying a little something was I was telling them about a conference I just spoke at and my workshop was the technology toolbox for Aging Life Care Coordinators. And for those of you who don't know what a Aging Life Coordinator Care Coordinator is just in case somebody has never heard of that. It used to be known as geriatric case managers and these are folks who fam working caregivers will hire to go into the situation with mom or dad, maybe they're in another state. Maybe they can't be there. And the Aging Life Care Coordinator will go in, they're trained, they're certified, and their job is to assess the whole caregiving situation and put together the resources to make it happen. So progressive employers will you know, either hire a service that has Aging Life Care Coordinators, on kind of on call that employees can access or some sort of light version of that, but they're all over the world and definitely all over the United States. So they have a big conference every year and this was the Western chapter. So I when I spoke, and I kind of divided up a bunch of the newest technologies, the newest services that are tech enabled into six categories. I talked about them as these are the things that actually help someone's body be better, right? Unique new types of wheelchairs, unique new types of devices that you can actually put on your body to take away back pain and to make you strong and able to walk better and all kinds of things actually help your body be better help you see better help you hear better. And then there was the safe life category in the toolbox. These are things that you can put in place to make sure that your loved one is not scammed, you know when they answer the telephone, or that they can spend money without spending it all in the wrong places or that they that they have diabetes, that you would know before they do that they're getting pressure sores on their feet or ulcers on their feet, right. So safe life is is that category and then the third category is friendship. So these are all the tools that are available now that help your loved ones stay connected, not isolated, communicating with other people, having good things to do and be with other people. And then four was getting around, those services that are now making it easier to get your loved one where they need to be. And then five was at home like figuring out how to manage the where mom is going to live piece. And then the sixth area was well cared for. And so these are all the tools that help you care for how do we make sure that she gets the right medication at the right time without a human necessarily having to be in the home? How do we make sure that we know she is at risk of a UTI or how do we know that she is going to you know, get what she needs at the right time, whether it be food, medicine, water, whatever it is. We looked at those different technologies. What was interesting was when I was done, the Aging Life Care Coordinators were like we haven't heard of more than, let's say three out of the 50 that I shared. And it's just I think it's really this kind of goes to the whole heart of this group, which meets regularly to talk about how do we market these services and products is these are the most progressive, most highly paid people in the country whose entire job it is to create care plans for people living at home or an assisted living or memory care for family members who are busy professionals. And they didn't know most of what was in the toolbox. So really glad we have this this arena to discuss together.
Thank you so much Benjamin. Can we see that technology toolkit, that sounds awesome.
I can put a link in the comments on the LinkedIn page.
That would be wonderful. And I think it's really important that we all heard that last thing you said which was that even the healthcare professionals did not know about a lot of those options. And that's why we talk about these things. We want to get that information out there. Thank you so much Benjamin. So I'd like to move now to Namrata Bagaria. We with this group we reached out to some of the Human Resources Clubhouse groups and Namrata put her hand up. She's a physician and a health tech researcher, a podcaster and a social entrepreneur. Namrata I'll let you introduce yourself and just tell us a little bit about your solution.
Sure. So thank you, Debbie, for reaching out on LinkedIn. I totally appreciate cold emails and messages I do the same. So everybody understands why. So my story is earlier this year, my father passed away, and he was only 16. And he was two months in the ICU. And so me and my co founder who was a caregiver to his wife who passed away due to cancer many years ago, we started this company called Seniors Junction. And the gap we found was there is no high quality engaging, virtual recreation. Most of it is one time workshops. So we offer eight week live courses where you can learn history, arts, you get certificates, can make friends and find a new hobby and this ways for caregivers it's easier to have their parents engage with new people on a topic or they themselves can spend quality time like a date night with their family. And the company is called SeniorsJunction.com And just today we released our book called Retired, Widowed and Purposeless - the Making of Seniors Junction, an Autobiography of Paul and a workbook. So this is what we do. And I appreciate coming. You'll see me regularly on this platform now. Thank you.
Welcome to Clubhouse Namrata, I'm so glad you got on in order to be with us today. Thank you. This is Linda Sherman. Back to you Debbie. Debbie, you're muted.
Thank you, Linda. For all of you when you're mentioning these wonderful resources, please be sure to put them in the back channel down there to the right hand side of your screen there. There's a little triangle icon and then I'll be sure to add them to the LinkedIn posting. Thank you so much. So next, I'd like to ask Lisa Bolger to speak for a moment. Lisa is working for George P. Johnson, the biggest and baddest experienced marketing company in the world. And Lisa works with their employee resource group. So I'd like to hear just a few comments from you, Lisa. That's just such a wonderful way that companies can help support their working caregivers.
Hi, Debbie, thank you for inviting me to this. This has already been so fascinating for me. Yes, I represent George P. Johnson's employee resource group for parents and caregivers. We call it packed parents and caregivers together. We actually have four employee resource groups and this one was the most recent to kick off and I think it really came from actually the need for more community and support especially during COVID. We have about 40 members, our we have about 500 employees at GPJ and it's really become a forum for community and support, but also for some internal lobbying with our talent and culture team so we're able to kind of come together and see needs that maybe our competitors or our clients have filled for their employees and look at those and see if we might be able to provide those same types of benefits to our own employees. One in particular right now is looking at family leave, and whether that can be you know, expanded for, you know, various purposes is for caregiving specifically. So I think we're able to kind of bring the voice to our own internal employees and stakeholders through this group. We also do quarterly presentations or workshops. And actually we're going to be doing a Caregiver Camp, a mini camp in December and, and just bring some some opportunities for learning and ways that we can take care of ourselves and also for our loved ones throughout the year. So yeah, thank you again. I'm Lisa Bolger. I'm done talking.
Thanks so much, Lisa. And Gary BARG. I see we have you in the audience. Would you like to say a few words about resources?
I think that Gary popped in and popped out.
popped out okay, there we go. Okay. Well, then I'd like to introduce my partner in crime on some solutions for caregivers and that's John Brody. He's here on stage. John and I and Tanya Krim co founded Caregiver Camps earlier this year. And we we are very excited about our solution. Jon, would you like to say a few words?
Sure. I agree with everything everyone's has said so far. There's an amazing amount of resources out there, both in the technology space, as well as in the more human person to person space and consulting space as it relates to caregivers. I'm a gerontologist. I came up from the pharma medical device side and the first thing I launched was a bisphosphonate so I was a lot involved greatly in fall prevention programs and things like that, that sort of steered me to where we are today being Debbie's partner in crime. So to not, you know, reiterate everything everyone else has said, the thing that we're really focusing on is within the corporate environment. Yes, there are lots of resources companies have different things, you know, to be used at different times. But there's also a managerial and training component. That is really part of the missing link. You know, I think we've all heard the stats that under 25% of managers think that caregivers, first of all, they can only recognize 40% or so of the caregivers in their organization, I think AARP said up to 61% I've seen varying numbers. So they're almost un-spottable. The second part is managers don't know exactly what to do with them and how to manage those situations. And that also extends to sort of a DEI component there because no two caregivers are the same. They all work hard and do things but they have there's some differences that need to be noted. But training those managers to understand that at more than 85% of their employees think it does affect their performance, and how to identify and work with them and steer them to all these amazing resources that we have out there. A lot of corporations have great things in place, but their EAP programs are either over utilized, which is expensive, underutilized, which is expensive, and the employees are going to it in a moment of crisis. They might not even remember their password, how to get into the portal. So all these programs are great. But the training on how to identify, use them, maybe do some pound of prevention is worth an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure kind of thinking here that, you know, some of the things can even be averted if there's better planning and approaches in place for both the employee the manager and the company. So what we're really trying to do is create a culture of care.
Thank you Jon.
Jonathan, can I ask you to define the two acronyms that you used just for maybe in small business that don't know those yet? I know that I know
I know them both now. It comes comes back so quickly. D is diversity, equity and inclusion. That is a huge component of how companies are creating a fair, better working environment for everybody within their organization. The first thing I mentioned was EAP, which is employee assistance programs. So you'll have everything in there from the again the classic mental and dental and physical health benefits and gym memberships and car discounts. But you'll also see a lot of the the programs and tools and resources that we've all been talking about in this clubhouse. So that's what those two acronym stands for.
Thank you, Jonathan. Back to you, Debbie.
Thanks, Linda. So we've been talking about resources we've talked about community, we've talked about connections, we've talked about tech, and we've talked about training and education, and also the role of companies in supporting working employees. I'd like to just shift it to a really practical solution that saves us time every single day. And that is I'd like to ask Maxwell Cohen to describe your wonderful Peel Away Sheets. Thanks, Maxwell.
I appreciate that. It's honored to be with so many veterans. My name is Maxwell. I'm the CEO of Peel Away Labs when I was in college, I noticed that my friends they barely wash their sheets. And then when I came home from college, I noticed that my elderly grandmother and grandfather had trouble washing their sheets on more than a daily basis. So that was the impetus behind my product called Peelaways. It's one fitted bed sheet with elastic at the bottom. And it has five soft 100% waterproof layers. And we've recognized and we've learned that the caregiving community really really enjoys this product as it improves, you know the patient's comfort as it's softer than traditional sheets. And then it's better time allocation for the caregivers. So in many cases, the product is very beneficial for both parties. It's 100% disposable so you don't have to toss the soil layer into your your washing machine. And it allows you know people to get their dignity and independence back. And we know that living at home is you know, the ultimate goal these days. And from what I've read many cases, the first impetus of going to an elderly home is because of incontinence. And with a product like ours. We've recognized that it has so many profound effects no matter even though it's such a simple product. My name is Maxwell and I appreciate you guys having me.
Thank you so much Maxwell and Amy Li. May I ask you to introduce yourself and give us your resource
Yes sure. I'm Amy Li, founder of Dance4Healing. We are an AI powered telehealth platform that helps chronic disease patients and elderly find compatible buddies. And it really started with my mom was actually my caregiver when I was going through my stage four cancer. And she empowered me to understand how difficult it is to care for your loved ones. And then now it's reversed. She's 82 years old, she had a heart condition that can be kind of scary, high risk of stroke. So like I'm her caregiver. And I also learned that we recently were part of their AAP program by NIH to help us write an SBIR grant that is specifically for dementia patients and their care partners through an intergenerational program. And the reason for that is when we were part of the Stanford Startup Garage, we were required to conduct 100 interviews in the Bay Area and it was very clear when we went out to interview you know, the most popular activity is music and art across the elder centers. But the second most popular activity is the intergenerational program. And then soon after that, we were also part of their caregiving for dementia challenge by IDEO, one of the top finalists, and then that also pushed us to further interview caregivers. And it was very moving to learn the upside and the downside of caregiving for your loved ones you know, sometimes can be really challenging especially for caregivers, that their loved ones no longer able to recognize them, they could become agitated. And all, it's very challenging. And then we also learned that, from outcome proposing a bunch of research we learned that actually a lot of caregivers die before their loved ones and about over 15 million caregivers in the US are dealing with stress, anxiety, care burden, career disruptions, and majority of them are women that are and so they even know I started with patients as a patient myself like for our Dance4healing approach. We also started realizing there's a huge population that is impacted by chronic disease in aging. And you know, the biggest impact you know, actually became the age 30 to 50, the sandwich generation who's technically majority our workforce was dealing with. You know, the challenges of care for your elderly and your young child. Yeah, and so this is why we wanted to bring everybody together like to intergenerational programs. And so for us that was different about what we do is there's all kinds of exercise programs out there, but you know, sticking to them is very difficult and I have extensive background on behavior design, AI research, user experience. We also follow Fogg's behavior model. BJ Fogg, quite a famous Stanford professor known for behavior design. So we implement a lot of thoughtful design into our components. So we match people to compatible buddies. We gather the history (exercise history, health history), preference in music and dance, and we tailored it to the needs and abilities. Currently, in the market, most exercise programs are for healthy people, but for people with various vulnerabilities, you got to tailor to their needs. You got to know what their needs, wants and fears are, and can actually design programs that cater to their needs and help them build healthy habits over time. Yeah, so I'm super excited about this group and also the sort of adoption start seeing in the employee health because that's also, you know, one of our, you know, focus now is really, you know, what can we employ and figure out, can this be both an employee health program but also a caregiving program? Yeah, thank you. This is Amy. I'm done speaking.
Thanks so much, Amy. And again, I cannot say this enough, but for all of you who are mentioning these wonderful resources, please be sure and ping me in the back channel or otherwise and and I will make sure to add them to that LinkedIn posting. Thanks very much. And Linda Sherman, I would love to call on you and hear about your miracle dressing. Wound Care
wound care system. I do the same thing. Sometimes I mute myself in the middle of my last sentence. So I am the Chief Marketing Officer for Miracle Dressing Wound Care System. I wanted to bring this up as a resource for caregivers, because it can make your life taking care of wounds for older adults at home so much easier. It is a wound care system that last 21 days and you can apply medicinals and clean it through the Miracle Dressing and the kit comes with our Natural Marine Extract which actually heals the skin at the same time that it is protecting it, so for most caregivers this would be used for skin tears, which often occurs in older adults, and also to prevent pressure sores and to heal Stage one and two pressure sores. Thank you for allowing me to share that and I will add that as a comment. Thank you very much, Debbie.
Thank you, Linda. And Nathalie. We'd love to hear from you. Yes. Hi.
Well, thank you very much for having me. My name is Nathalie de Vazeille and I'm with StackCare. StackCare is a Smart Passive monitoring system for seniors that age in place or also in senior living communities, but we're focusing on the you know how it can help reduce the caregiving burden. Our system, we use small infrared motion sensors and AI and data science to analyze a person's daily activities. And anything that's untypical we will highlight that with, you know, health issues or potential fall and send out alerts and notification to caregivers and families, mobile devices, their phones, their watches, their iPads, and just alerting them that something is wrong. And so our system gives great peace of mind to families. It's completely passive. There is no cameras, no microphones, the senior doesn't need to wear anything. And we can detect a lot of things not just potential falls as I was saying but also a lot of health issues. So our system really allows for early intervention when treatment is most effective, and prevention of decline is still possible. My name is Nathalie and I am done talking. Thank you very much.
Thanks so much, Nathalie. And I'd like to just ask if anyone has any comments at this point, because we know as we go through the hour, often things other people say will trigger something that you might like to say. Does anyone else have any comments at this point or questions? You can flash your mic if you'd like to say something. Reema. Hit me. Thank you.
Again, this is Reema from AARP. So this conversation I am enjoying listening and learning about all the different tools and resources that have been developed and that are on offer. One thing that I would love to stress and I go back to what John presented and what Debbie you talk about that your group does is the political will, the political will of the employer, in supporting the and providing those supports and access to employees that are family caregivers, and then the political will of our government, and not just our government and I know it's fraught with its own issues. But governments in general in support of family caregivers, because far too often sorry, my dog is whining. I'll get off soon. Far too often, families fall through the cracks because they just can't have, afford, or access these tools and resources. And it's just this downward spiral of of Yeah, have, as I said, falling through the cracks. So I would love to learn more about what others are doing, that are working toward this kind of fundamental need in order to provide support to the workforce of family caregivers. And this is Reema and I'm done talking. Thank you.
Thanks Reema. I really appreciate your bringing up the political will at all levels. And I'd love to ask MaryAnne Sterling to comment on that as well because I know Marianne is no stranger to Capitol Hill. Marianne, would you like to say a few words? Maybe Marianne, is I think
MaryAnne is gone? Yes.
Okay. Then I'd like to ask Susan to speak because Susan of Wowzitude has some amazing products to offer. Oh, there's MaryAnne, Susan go ahead and speak and then we'll we'll bring MaryAnne up.
Well thanks so much. Loving hearing all these solutions and products for caregivers. We at Wowzitude have live virtual tours to over 60 different cities around the world that we do for groups of like minded armchair travelers, and it is actually perfect for those who are aging at home. We work with senior communities as well but those aging at home and their caregivers because it gives them something to enjoy together that's interactive, you can ask questions of all the guides, and we also provide recipes and others, so you can actually, the caregiver can make local recipes and really have an immersive experience. We started with senior living communities but we find that there is so much interest for this subscription series. It's every week at the same time for caregivers in particular, and some caregivers also love it because they can just have a break as well. When the person that they're caring for is interacting so they can either do it together or they can have an interactive as soon as they set them up on the Zoom call. So it really is something that's quite unique. It is COVID catalyst. No tour guide would have done this virtually. I come from Travel and Tourism. And we really developed it for this but we're going more in more into the caregiver world to provide this for those aging at home. And we also find it's great for those who have mild to moderate dementia as well. And really provides some great conversation, taps into some of their memories of times that they were in London or New York or some of the other places that we go. So thank you for the opportunity to share this, Debbie.
Absolutely, Susan, I'm really interested to see some of your products. I'd like to move back to MaryAnne if she's there she is. Yes, MaryAnne is no stranger on Capitol Hill. So I know you have some comments on that as well.
And thank you, Debbie. I'll try to keep them brief is I tend to be long winded on this subject. But, you know, it's an interesting question that's been posed about political will and I got to tell you, there's been some movement in recent years on Capitol Hill when it comes to supporting family caregivers. Some of you may be familiar with the RAISE Family Caregivers Act that was actually signed into law a couple years ago. It resulted in the RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council, which is actually part of the Administration for Community Living or ACL. If you want to look them up online, see what they're doing. Interestingly, they have regular public meetings that you can join to kind of track their work and keep up with them. They recently made 26 recommendations for better supporting family caregivers. These recommendations are included in their initial report to Congress. So they're actually making recommendations to increase recognition and support for family caregivers. Right there at the top obviously, and although there is not a large pile of money supporting this we're hoping that these recommendations sort of provide a roadmap for how our country can better support family caregivers moving forward. This initial report to Congress will be I think, followed up by the national family caregiving strategy which will have a lot more detail in it. So be on the lookout for that. And again, go to acl.gov and follow the RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council and their work. I think you'll find it very interesting. And yeah, this is MaryAnne and I'm done speaking
Thanks so much, MaryAnne, that advocacy piece is so important for all of us to get our heads around and to track, so my appreciation to you, MaryAnne, and to AARP for staying on top of that. It's a really big and important piece. I would like to ask Lisa Kendall to come back on and share some of the resources that you mentioned earlier, Lisa. We're really interested in those and we can communicate later and you can get me the actual links but just give us a flavor of some of the resources that you mentioned.
Yes, thank you, Debbie. My area of work has been caregiver stress. And one thing that I really delved into deeply as a therapist for family caregivers was recognizing how common it is for folks to have difficult backgrounds, difficult childhoods, there may have been some kind of mental health issue in the family, addiction issue. Even divorce. These issues can create health problems and social issues that follow someone across the lifespan. And about 18% of family caregivers actually identify themselves as having come from a dysfunctional family. I think a lot of what we see offered for folks is sort of basic caregiving information. Yes, take care of yourself. They refer to caring for your loved one. And there are a lot of people who are doing care for a variety of reasons. Some of them may be doing care in a family where there has been pretty significant family dysfunction, and by dysfunction, I just mean, painful functioning. And for those folks, I've been offering workshops and in particular group coaching, and you just have to go to my website or you can DM me or email me. I sent you the link for my website. Debbie, but I didn't explain anything. So I will get that information to you. There are very, very few people in the country right now are looking at the impact of trauma on elders and their family caregivers, and how that impacts caregiving. And for folks who are trying to work in the midst of this, it just it adds an extra layer of difficulty and also provides an opportunity for us to give real world practical solutions for folks whose needs are otherwise not being addressed. And that's what I wanted to add. I have also on my website put a pretty detailed caregiver assessment for folks, that you can take for free and if you are interested can follow up with information about what areas where you're doing really well and having a lot of strengths and other areas that are challenging you more. So these are things that I'm just trying to put out through my coaching and consulting practice at this time. And thanks so much for giving me the chance to talk about it. This is Lisa and I'm done talking.
Thanks, Lisa. And I'd like to invite Gary Barg to say a few words (of Today's Caregiver Magazine). We're talking about resources today.
Hi. Am I on?
Yeah, yes, Gary, you are on.
I've been having some troubles. I was actually sitting waiting for my flu shot at Walgreens and I was getting no coverage. So I'm now finally outside in my car where I have plenty of coverage but what I've heard so far has been absolutely terrific. These are conversations I live for. In 1995 I founded Today's Caregiver Magazine (caregiver.com). And we started hosting in 1998 The Fearless Caregiver Conferences, where we go around the country (and now we're doing it virtually of course) and interact with caregivers and experts and in all in the same room. And it's amazing how much the caregivers will teach the experts, and we're doing one on December 1 for the Connecticut area, but everybody's invited to join. We'll have VA elder care attorney and area agency folks. So the idea of sharing services and products and resources for working caregivers is really so important because for the most part, we as family caregivers get our best information from our fellow caregivers. I call our fellow "CEOs of caring for a loved one" saints. And for 20 years we've been hosting a caregiver friendly award program for products, services, media organizations. And a bunch of other things I can't think of right now that put the caregivers first. You know we have one amazing award recipient who built a lighter, more manageable wheelchair for an up to 250 pound person but you can put it in the back of your car with one hand, and I always say if you build a more comfortable seat for your loved one, that's nice. It's not necessarily caregiver friendly. But if you build up a wheelchair that cares about the caregivers back and their ability to move their, you know, their loved one along with them - that's caregiver friendly. So we've had hundreds of products become award winners and so if you if you like please come to caregiver.com and take a look at the award recipients over the years because I think you'll be amazed (this group wouldn't be amazed because you all you all absolutely get it) at the interest in serving family caregivers. I don't have much time I know, but from what I heard as I was coming in and out of coverage was talking about the political, talking about caregiver stress, talking about the effect stress is having on our senior loved ones. So everybody here is doing an amazing job. So I really appreciate it. We have a free newsletter, you can get at caregiver.com So as we learn things, we share things. Thank you.
Thank you so much Gary and we are at the top of the hour now. So I am going to follow the rules and stick with trying to end the room properly on time. I would like to thank everyone for being here. There are more people in the audience who actually have great things to say. And we would we would just love to have you back - we will be doing more on this topic. And I'd like to announce that Christina Keyes and I will be co-moderating a new group under Rethinking Aging, which is Linda Sherman's umbrella group, (I'm not sure if that's the right way to put it, Linda), but we will be launching on November 22 at 4pm Eastern Time and the name of the group will be Shifting the Culture of Caregiving. And we'll be focusing on Resources, Community (with an advocacy bent as well), and workplace support. So we hope to see you all there on Monday afternoon. November 22, at 4pm. Eastern.
Also please join the Rethinking Aging Club so that you'll get more access to those announcements and so forth. Thank you.
Yes. And I'd also Christina, just just, if I may just take the opportunity to say this since we're at the end, but Christina Keyes generously offered at the beginning for any of you who might have missed it, that if you send her your resources, she will promote them free through caregiving.com. So they are putting together some amazing resource catalogs and information and lists. So please take advantage of that and let us know your links for resources and we will be publicizing those as we go forward. Thank you again for being here today. We really really enjoyed the conversation.
Michael, would you like to say something at the closing here?
I just wanted to thank you guys. I enjoyed the conversation. Great news on the new the new room on caregiving, and we're top of the hour so look forward to seeing everybody next week. Thanks all.
Thank you and this this room was recorded with Otter AI. Debbie, Christina and I will be making that available - that will be another resource. It's a good tool if you're not familiar with Otter AI yet, in the future when we have people in the audience that need captioning, We'll be sure to to share it as a pinned link. So that it's virtually live captioning as as it goes along. And I'll let Debbie do the final close out here
You are muted, Debbie. Okay, I will do the final close out. Thank you so much, everybody.
I thought I was talking and I was muted. I'm sorry. I'm so excited.
I know you're very, very excited. So now you're muted again. But I just wanted to thank everybody for coming we really appreciate all of you we see you and and look for the recording if you want to share with people who weren't here today. And we are going to close the room. Please do come back next Thursday, every Thursday for this room. And that's at noon ET and also November 22. As Debbie was saying for the new caregiving room at 4pm ET and I am closing the room thank you