We All Win a Caregiving Powerball Lottery


We All Win a Caregiving Powerball Lottery

lotto-864035_640(Editor’s Note: This is the fifth blog post in a series called Imagine during which I explore what could be when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent tracks family caregiver stress and its source.)

As you've read my Imagine series, you've probably noticed that my ideas need money. How will we pay for the stress-busting caravan heading to help you and featured on Al Roker's weather report? Who will pay for that community of support that gives you a sigh of relief? Who will pay for the Certified Caregiving Consultant who meets with you at the hospital and gives you vouchers for help? How we will fund help that really helps?

Where will we get the money? I've got two ideas:

1. Twenty-five years ago, I managed the New Jersey Statewide Respite Care Program, which helps individuals who care for a family member or friend, in Hunterdon County, N.J. The program received (and I believe still does) funding through New Jersey's casino gambling revenue.

What if we had a regular Powerball Lottery to specifically benefit programs and services to help family caregivers, including the costs the CDC incurs when (hopefully) it begins to track family caregiver stress and its source? All participating states (and hopefully all startes participate) in the Caregiving Powerball receive funding which gets distributed to its communities to help those affected by caregiving stress (which we can effectively target because of our data which tracks caregiving stress). With the Caregiving Powerball, we have individual winners who receive money for their lucky numbers. We all win because we have programs and services which help us provide care to our family members and friends.

An advistory committee would oversee the Caregiving Powerball Lottery to ensure the appropriate and effective use of monies. The committee would include family caregivers who ensure the Caregiving Powerball Lottery stays true to its purpose--to create programs and services which help those who care for a family member or friend.

2. Five years ago, I wrote that too much money goes to research about caregiving issues and not enough goes directly to help family caregivers. (Read: When Researching for Tomorrow, Pay for Today's Help.) When an institution or an organization or an individual receives funding to research issues affecting family caregivers, let's make it mandatory that a percentage of that research goes directly to help our initiatives tied to the CDC tracking family caregiver stress and its source.

With a Caregiving Powerball Lottery and dollars from caregiving research, we have a budget to get us started and to keep us going.

Of course, these remain just my ideas, unless we push our petition for the CDC to track family caregiver stress and its source into our reality.

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