Free support for Idaho Caregivers through Boise State University: Read on and click on links for more information.
Navigators Help Idaho Family Caregivers Find their Way
By Chelsea Smith, Boise State University
It’s estimated that 1 in 4 Idahoans is an informal caregiver – providing support to another individual of any age with a disability, chronic or mental health condition. Collectively they provide millions of hours of unpaid labor to their care recipients annually. But caregiving can impact the health and wellbeing of the person providing care. Reducing stress and preventing burnout is paramount for the caregiver’s health, as well as the person they care for.
Serving families by telephone, the Family Caregiver Navigator program provides support and resource referral to family caregivers:
- FREE program connects you with a Navigator to identify your stress points
- Connect with resources and services in SW Idaho (respite care, support groups, training, financial support policies and more)
- Craft a customized, sustainable action plan to build your support system
- Navigator connects you directly with referrals whenever possible, and follows up to ensure you connect with contacts
- Update your plan at any time
The free evidence-based program was created in partnership with the Idaho Caregiver Alliance, Center for the Study of Aging at Boise State, and dozens of other community partner organizations. Watch the Video to learn more about the program.
Caregiving is a subject that’s close to the heart of the Family Caregiver Navigator team. “At one point I was taking care of my parents, my aunt and my brother,“ says Mary Holden, who also coordinates the Justice Alliance for Vulnerable Adults. “I was overwhelmed and struggling to find resources where I could find help.”
“As caregivers there can be a mindset – and I know because I’m a caregiver myself…that your priority is just to get through every day and get through every task. But that survivalist mentality can really start to wear you down over time and it will break you down in little ways you don’t notice.” Says Emma Ballytyne, a Masters of Social Work student and one of the program’s Navigators.
Tiffany Robb also joins the Navigator team, as a Research Associate for the Center for the Study of Aging at Boise State, and veteran caregiver herself. “Caregiving with support allows us to be better caregivers,” she says
Call 208-426-2452 to connect with a Navigator Mon-Friday, 8am – 5pm or visit caregivernavigator.org for more information and to take a brief online assessment.
Who qualifies as a Caregiver?
Adults in SW Idaho who provide unpaid care for another individual, of any age, with physical, intellectual, or cognitive disabilities, or a mental health condition.
For Providers & Professionals
Download or request materials to share with your networks and patients, or submit caregiver referrals at caregivernavigator.org/providers
This publication was made possible by the Money Follows the Person Grant 93.791 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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