Texas’ top health agency has joined a multi-state effort to support family caregivers of older adults – a move that’s embraced by AARP Texas.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission recently announced that it is partnering with the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, AARP Texas and the Texas Association of Regional Council to work on projects to improve the lives of caregivers.
There are an estimated 3.4 million family caregivers in Texas who provide day-to-day care for a family member or friend.
Holly Riley, HHSC Aging Services Coordination director, said in a Feb. 26 press release that the Texas health agency is joining this collaborative effort to learn and share ideas about the resources needed to support family caregivers.
The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is leading the Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America initiative with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. CHCS will be working on projects with each state to create and improve family caregiving policies and programs. Some of the areas of focus will include implementing new technologies, providing formal training for caregivers and increasing access to respite care so caregivers are able to take a break.
Besides Texas, CHCS selected Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee and Washington to participate in the two-year program.
“Family caregiving is a labor of love, and one of the most important but challenging roles that one can take on,” said AARP Texas Director Tina Tran. “Too often, caregivers can be overwhelmed and unprepared for the responsibilities. That’s why this initiative is crucially important. As apparent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, family caregivers must have what they need to support their loved ones and to maintain their own well-being.”