Jones & Bartlett Learning Health Blog

    Caring For The Caregiver

    Posted by admin on Jul 30, 2010 11:02:00 AM

    Our generation is now being referred to as the “sandwich generation,” i.e., we are the bologna and cheese between two thick slabs of children and parents in the great hoagie of life. Good child care, while not always easy to find, is relatively abundant, accessible and affordable for most working parents. Good elder care? Not so much. In the U.S., the vast majority of eldercare is provided not in continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes, but in the community, by the family (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004).

    Dr. Donna Wagner led a diary study for Evercare and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) (2007) and found that out-of-pocket costs of giving care to family members by family members average $5,531, more than 10% of the median income of the group which was $43,026” (Evercare & NAC, p. 7). Respondents indicated that to finance these out-of-pocket costs they cut back on vacations, leisure activities, savings, and home improvement and major purchases. The caregivers made up the difference by taking the personal and financial hits themselves. There is only so long that anyone—even Superman or Superwoman can do this without running aground emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Many caregivers in this study reported “picking up or increasing bad habits (smoking, drinking too much), worsening health problems of their own, inability to go to medical or dental appointments, insomnia, feelings of depression and hopelessness, weight changes, and added stress and anxiety” (Evercare & NAC, p. 27).

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    Topics: allied health, public health education, Sharon B. Buchbinder, National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), Public health management, Sharon Buchbinder Blog, caregiver, child care, eldercare, Evercare, sandwich generation

    Infectious Leadership

    Posted by admin on Nov 23, 2009 10:13:17 AM

    Not too long ago I visited a local community hospital. The hallways were lined with photographs of award-winning employees. Beneath each photo was the story of why he or she received the award.  One was a nurse who stopped by a patient’s home after work just to see how the patient was doing. Another was an aide who detoured many miles out of his way home to drop off medications for another patient.  Yet another was an LPN who helped to comfort a terminally ill patient as she lay dying. It is well known that one of the best ways to motivate employees is to catch them doing the right thing--and recognizing and rewarding them. But this example is the only one that has ever moved me to tears. The CEO of this hospital is relentlessly optimistic and enthusiastic.  Employees have high satisfaction scores--and the patient satisfaction scores are correspondingly high.  Is there a relationship between the CEO’s mood and the employees’ satisfaction levels? You bet there is.

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    Topics: allied health, public health education, Sharon B. Buchbinder, Leadership, Laird and Bresler, mirror neuron system (MNS), Public health management, Sharon Buchbinder Blog, caregiver, Emotion Contagion (EC), emotions, hospital

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