Weinberg Foundation Announces Preliminary Findings of $8.1 Million Caregiver Initiative

BALTIMORE, Md., March 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, today highlighted the initial findings of the Family and Informal Caregiver initiative – believed to be the largest effort in the nation to identify supports and services that really work. Knowing that as much as 80-percent of all long-term care for chronically ill and disabled older adults is delivered by family and friends, the Weinberg Foundation launched the Caregiver Initiative in 2009. The program involved 14 organizations in nine states with total funding of nearly $15 million over its three-year span.

"The Foundation will release much more detailed evaluation findings in the months ahead, but a great deal has already been learned about the Initiative's impact and informal caregivers themselves," said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Weinberg Foundation President. "We know these projects touched the lives of at least 300,000 family and informal caregivers, and we were able to directly assess the impact on the lives of just over 1,400 of those individuals."

Analyses of Caregiver Initiative data already have shown significant decreases in caregiver stress and depression. But perhaps the most dramatic result of the Caregiver Initiative is the dollar savings -- for both the individual caregivers and the community-at-large – in the form of delayed nursing home placement. Applying even the most conservative nursing home costs, it is estimated that the Weinberg Caregiver Initiative resulted in a savings of approximately $38 million in either out-of-pocket expense for the care recipient/family or government reimbursement.

"1,200 individual nonpaid caregivers (family members and friends) delayed placing their care recipients in a nursing home for at least six months and they attribute this decision directly to the support they received through the caregiver programming provided," added Michael Marcus, Weinberg Foundation Program Director for Older Adults. "The programs also identified a common set of core services collectively known as 'no wrong door' that are critical to the caregiver community."

Among other findings:

  • 74% of family and informal caregivers are women and nearly 40% are daughters.
  • 62% of family and informal caregivers are between 36 and 64 years of age.
  • Roughly one-third of all caregivers had provided care for at least five years, often resulting in severe stress and financial strain.

The Weinberg Foundation today hosted a reception in Chicago, in conjunction with the Aging in America Conference, celebrating the Caregiver Initiative's results and to thank the 14 organizations which took part in the project.

"Reflecting the Weinberg Foundation's mission and philosophy, the Family and Informal Caregiver Initiative is a milestone in improved care for disadvantaged and vulnerable older adults," said Barry Schloss, Weinberg Foundation Trustee. "The Foundation looks forward to building upon this significant body of work with the new professional caregiver training initiative now underway in New York City. Together, we believe these programs will provide the model for a more secure future for our aging population – which is all of us."

Older adults represents the Weinberg Foundation's largest area of grantmaking with approximately $30 million in grants per year.

About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to economically disadvantaged people, primarily in the U.S. and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual's ability to meet those needs with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and our hometown communities of Maryland, northeastern Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. The trustees, some of whom also serve as executive officers of the Foundation, are Donn Weinberg, Barry I. Schloss, Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Alvin Awaya, and Chair Ellen M. Heller. Rachel Garbow Monroe serves as the Weinberg Foundation's President. For more information please go to www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.

CONTACT: Craig Demchak, 443-738-1159 cdemchak@hjweinberg.orgSource:The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation