Texas Selected for Multi-State Initiative to Support Family Caregivers of Aging Americans

NEWS RELEASE

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner

February 26, 2021

Ty Bishop, 512-424-6951
Ty.Bishop@hhs.texas.gov

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is joining in a multi-state initiative that provides support and training to family caregivers of older adults. There are an estimated 3.4 million family caregivers in Texas who provide day-to-day care for a family member or friend.

“As family caregivers dedicate their time and resources to help their loved ones maintain their well-being, we are working to ensure that those caregivers are taken care of as well,” said Holly Riley, HHSC Aging Services Coordination director. “We are 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.

HHSC is partnering with the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, AARP Texas and the Texas Association of Regional Councils to work on projects to improve the lives of caregivers in Texas.

“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.”

CHCS selected Texas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee and Washington to participate in the two-year program.

“We applaud these eight states for working together and with us to better support families caring for older adults,” said Rani Snyder, vice president of program at The John A. Hartford Foundation. “We anticipate their efforts will spur other states to meaningfully support caregivers within their own communities.”

Almost 12 percent of Texans—3.2 million people—are ages 65 and older. That figure is expected to almost double within the next 30 years according to the Texas Demographic Center. In the United States, there are more than 41 million people caring for a family member or friend age 50 or older. The need for family caregivers is increasing with the growth of the aging population.

For information about current resources available to Texas caregivers, visit the Services for Caregivers webpage.

About the Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America Initiative

The Center for Health Care Strategies created the initiative to strengthen family caregiver policies. Six states participated in the first phase between 2018 and 2020. The first phase focused on advancing family caregiving policies and program changes. During this second phase, eight states will work from October 2020 until September 2022 to develop strategies and enhance existing ones. For more information about the initiative, visit Helping States Support Families for an Aging America.