213226 Intergenerational Teams Providing Respite Care for Caregivers

Monday, November 9, 2009: 4:30 PM

John Scholte , New Alternatives, Inc, San Diego, CA
62 million Americans will be older adults by 2025 with the fastest growing cohort being those in the 100+ category. With advances in medical technology and medicine, older adults are living longer; although this is positive, it has created a need for resources and alternative programs to assist frail elders to live independently for as long as possible. Of the 96.6 million households in the USA, 22 million (23%) are involved in caring for a relative. Many adult children find themselves in the role of caregiver due to the high cost of assisted living and/or the desire to support the elder's choice to age in place. Legacy Corps San Diego built upon the University of Maryland and AmeriCorps Legacy Corps program by introducing an intergenerational approach. Through the San Diego Legacy Corps, service teams of an adult and at risk youth provide much needed respite services for caregivers, as well as social interaction with the care recipient. To date, over 25,000 hours of free respite care have been provided. After the Legacy experience 100% of caregivers reported a stabilized or improved relationship with the care recipient, decreased levels of stress, increased satisfaction levels and improved physical and emotional health. Nineteen percent of the members transitioned from volunteer service to employment and 95% of those paid positions were in the healthcare related fields. Members reported improved attitudes toward other generations, increased attachment to and understanding of community needs, and five years after completing Legacy Corps, 86% of members continued to volunteer.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the positive effects of an intergenerational caregiving intervention

Keywords: Aging, Caregivers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct the Legacy Corps San Diego program
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.