The Becker Center for Advocacy is learning about the needs of older caregivers by organizing community forums across the state. Three forums have been held so far: North Shore, Merrimack Valley, and Greater Boston. Caregivers are asked to discuss three topics: what is going well; where are the gaps or challenges; and recommendations.
Responses vary; however, a big concern is the workforce and the inability to find reliable and well-trained respite providers, PCAs, and nursing staff. Other areas of note include the lack of choice and options for residential services and the need for more individualized and person-centered supports.
Attendees also learned about the supports offered by Elder Services and DDS. Real life experts shared their stories and how they are planning for the future. At the end of the program, participants were encouraged to take action and share their stories and advocate for increased funding!
Special thanks to our co-sponsors: North Shore Link, Northeast Arc, DDS, Fidelity House Human Services, The Arc of Greater Haverhill Newburyport, Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Minuteman Senior Services, Minute Man Arc, Charles River Center, Springwell, the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, and the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy.
Forums on the South Shore and Western Mass are being planned. Look for the announcement in Notes from The Arc.
Written by Kerry Mahoney
Director of Outreach and Education