Caring for Aging Oregon
There are nearly a half million at-home caregivers in Oregon, according to a 2009 report by AARP. Oregonians caring for family members with Alzheimer’s and dementia face practical and social problems that can lead to isolation, frustration or depression. Creating a positive environment for loved ones is particularly challenging for caregivers with little or no training.
In 2014, the Oregon Legislature funded a new program to improve long-term care services for aging Oregonians by building caregiver knowledge and skills. Oregon Care Partners brings together advocates for aging Oregonians, and provides free online and in-person classes for family and professional caregivers.
This year, Gard launched a statewide advertising and public relations campaign to raise awareness and drive registration for Oregon Care Partners’ trainings. The response was overwhelming. From Ontario to Portland to Eugene, we heard from reporters, caregivers and media partners about their personal experiences providing care to loved ones at home.
Classes began in October of 2014, and by the end of June 2015, Oregon Care Partners had trained over 9,000 caregivers through more than 350 online and in-person classes across Oregon. Three in-person conferences – featuring nationally known dementia-care and education specialist Teepa Snow – quickly sold out.
Click here to listen to Teepa Snow’s educational message.
These successes clearly demonstrate the need for quality training for caregivers, and in July the state Legislature recognized this need and funded the program for two more years. We look forward to working with Oregon Care Partners to build on these initial gains and reach even more caregivers – improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians.