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Honor Radar: Hospitals and Creative Caregiving Solutions

Honor Radar points you to stories of real quality—the most interesting and influential, the most uplifting and unexpected pieces of the week. We scan the news and the net so you don’t have to. What’s Honor Radar this week? How to support and celebrate family caregivers, plus an inspiring documentary about one family’s caregiving journey for two beloved grandparents.

care professionals

New Law Supporting Caregivers

Hospitals Required To Keep Caregivers In The Loop  – Kaiser Health News

Family caregivers in California will get more respect from hospital staffers during the hospitalization of a loved one and more detailed information about how to care for them after discharge. Why? Because it’s the law.

Hospitals now must “give patients an opportunity to identify a caregiver, notify that caregiver when the patient is to be discharged, and provide information and instruction on the patient’s needs and medications following the hospitalization.”

“California is among 18 states to pass such laws over the past two years, including Arkansas, New Hampshire, Oregon and Virginia. It’s part of a growing awareness among policymakers and legislators that family caregivers play an important role during and after a relative’s hospitalization.” Supporters expect this new law, sponsored by state Sen. Carol Liu (D, La Cañada Flintridge), to improve the overall health of patients’ post discharge and reduce the chance of their readmission. Good news for families and caregivers in California—and real progress for AARP, which is leading a campaign to reduce barriers for family caregivers across the country.

caregiving for mother

Moving Back In With Mom?

A Twist on Caring for a Parent: Move Into the Home  – The New York Times

In Paula Span’s latest addition to The New Old Age Series, we follow a 71-year-old son who elects to move into the same retirement community where his 95-year-old mother lives. Is this one devoted son’s creative solution (no more driving to visit mom, housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking, or home maintenance), a bad dream, or a practical new trend?

“Many caregivers will find this solution unappealing. In an age-segregated society, few baby boomers welcome the prospect of facilities intended for old people, however lovely their campuses.” But keep an eye out for the rebranding of continuing care retirement communities (i.e. “Life Plan Community”) to increase their appeal to the rapidly growing number of baby boomers over 65.

caregiver cards

Thank-you cards for people who care—every day.

Showering Caregivers With Love

Senior Shower Project

We first spotted the cards, a series of bright-colored, positive, playful cards celebrating caregivers. Wow. Very cool. Then we discovered the idea behind them: Senior Shower Project, a new company based in Oakland that plans festive showers (think baby or bridal) for caregivers of older adults. Even cooler. Founder Jenn Chan combined her personal experience—caregiving for her grandmother—with her professional experience in marketing to develop Senior Shower Project. “I saw the beauty and positivity of baby showers when people come together to celebrate a new chapter of  life, sharing advice and showing support in a party setting,” Chan explained. “I thought it would be a fantastic way to celebrate someone becoming a family caregiver—and to help set them up for success.” To learn more about the caregiver cards and how to throw your own shower, visit seniorshowerproject.com.

RADAR LOVE

Nine to Ninety

Nine to Ninety, described as “a brilliant short film about aging,” will air on about 70 PBS stations in January. Don’t miss it.

Juli Vizzi, an award-winning film producer, turns the camera on her own family as they face the challenges of caregiving for her grandparents, Joe and Phyllis Sabatini. Directed by Alicia Dwyer, Nine to Ninety is full of beauty, insight, plus the humor and courage of an 89-year-old breakout star.

“Vizza and Dwyer initially thought that the Sabatinis’ daughters — as the main caregivers — would be the focus of the film. But grandmother Phyllis soon emerged as the story’s heart.”

“The filmmakers hope the documentary will encourage other families to have difficult, but necessary conversations about end-of-life care. They want others to ask, as the Sabatini family does: ‘What does it take to live, love and die with dignity and grace in the modern age?’” A question we ask every day.

To read more about Nine to Ninety and to see if it will air on your local PBS station, head here. Or watch the first episode now on video.pbs.org.  “For more information about the issues of end-of-life care, how to host a screening or how to talk to your family members, visit the film’s website.”


If you have ideas or great articles you’d like to share with Honor, please send them to stories at joinhonor dot com. We’d love to hear from you.

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