Being a caregiver to a loved one is a meaningful responsibility, but it can be overwhelming without support. That’s why RUSH is partnering with CVS Health to expand our reach and support more people in our communities.
Here’s how it works: As you take care of your loved one, RUSH and CVS will help take care of you. CVS Minute Clinics in Illinois are now screening for caregivers during their appointments. People who answer “yes” to caregiver-specific questions are given resources, referrals and contact information for the RUSH Caring for Caregivers program.
C4C works with caregivers to develop a plan to take care of your physical and emotional health and well-being, while also incorporating the care needs and preferences of your loved one. It includes some or all of these components:
- An assessment of the caregiver’s physical and emotional health
- Meetings to improve the caregiver’s skill and confidence in caring for their loved ones
- Family sessions to develop a care plan that meets the needs of the loved one while also protecting and enhancing the caregiver’s health and well-being
The model is meant to be accessible: C4C doesn’t charge for the first meeting, and services are covered by most insurances.
The C4C model is effective
Caregivers have shown significant reductions in symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress as it relates to providing care. Older adults benefit from the program as well, with those whose family caregiver took part in C4C having fewer visits to the emergency department, fewer hospitalizations and for shorter times.
Diane Mariani, a licensed social worker at RUSH and the C4C program manager, said this is just the beginning.
“It’s been a grassroots effort to help other health care systems adopt the program. Partnering with CVS is a major step toward making much-needed support more accessible to those who may not even realize they could benefit from it,” Mariani said.
C4C was developed at RUSH in 2019 with the help of a grant from the RRF Foundation for Aging and is funded through a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation. In addition to CVS, C4C is expanding and partnering with other Age-Friendly Health Systems to bring more support to caregivers across the country. More resources for caregivers can be found on the RUSH website.