Family Caregiver Alliance: A Rough Ride for California’s Caregivers

Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed FY 2012-13 budget this week, which calls for eliminating funding for the California Caregiver Resource Centers (CRC). The language used in the budget document is fairly innocuous:

Elimination of Funding for Caregiver Resource Centers — A decrease of $2.9 million General Fund in 2012‑13 as a result of eliminating contract funding for Caregiver Resource Centers, which provide services to individuals with acquired brain disorders.

Unfortunately, family caregivers are dealing with diseases that are anything but harmless. Caregiving for a person with dementia, especially in the later stages, is one of the most stressful types of caregiving.

A recent brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Researchprovides an alarming analysis of caregivers in California, and the emotional, psychological, and financial stresses they are placed under, including:

• More than 1 million caregivers report moderate or serious distress levels;

• Caregivers of all ages who reported serious psychological distress were 208% more likely to smoke than non-caregivers with serious psychological distress;

• 29% of middle-aged caregivers are single, divorced, or widowed;

• 67.1% of caregivers hold down full- or part-time jobs; and

• The 1/3 of California caregivers who live with their care recipients spend an average of 36 hours a week providing care.

The social workers at the 11 CRCs located throughout the state, assess caregivers, provide them emotional support, and connect caregivers to much-needed services like respite, legal counseling, support groups, and education.

In fact, the California State Department of Mental Health Website notes:…

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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