Santa Clara County is moving forward with a series of actions to support family caregivers in response to a recent county survey that found caregivers need more resources. 

The county Board of Supervisors accepted staff recommendations and instructed them to create ways to address caregivers’ two main areas of concern, which were a need for more information on caregiving and respite care options for caregivers. 

County staff were tasked with establishing a workgroup to coordinate existing resources and compile a reliable caregiver information and referral list that will focus on the top 10-20 services caregivers indicated they need. 

The workgroup will also create a referral registry for direct care workers that will include background checks for caregivers of older adults. 

And the county plans to create a subsidy for caregivers of between $500-$1,200 to help pay for adult day care to give caregivers respite, according to Supervisor Joe Simitian’s office. 

A 2023 scorecard from AARP ranked California 15 in the nation for family caregiver support, dinging the state in the category because it does not provide any tax credits to caregivers who frequently take on extra costs in addition to their labor. 

The recommendations come in response to a study the county commissioned in August that found that caregivers lack information and resources about how to get started providing care for someone. The study was requested by Supervisors Joe Simitian and Cindy Chavez. 

“Caring for a loved one is a difficult responsibility for anyone, especially for those where the duty has been unexpectedly thrust upon them,” said Simitian. 

“The recommendations in this study are a step in the right direction—providing the information new caregivers need, and hopefully, simplifying a process that can be complex.” 

The workgroup will define and distinguish the overlapping roles of the county’s 211 hotline and the area’s two Aging and Development Resource Connections, or ADRCs, which are nonprofit organizations that are certified by the state to provide their own information and resources.  

The county will also enhance the role of its Senior Care Commission, which advocates for seniors and programs that will help them, tracks legislation and addresses concerns about wellness and safety. 

Staff was asked to make additional recommendations on implementing the needs found in the survey and provide a progress report by the end of the year. 

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