New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition Hosts 3rd Annual Summit

The third annual New Mexico Direct Caregivers Summit for family and professional caregivers took place on November 2 at Sandia Casino and Resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The event was held by the New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition, which scheduled it just prior to the 2012 elections to emphasize the importance of advocating for caregivers at the state and national levels, as our population ages and the demand for care increases.

“The information about the demographic changes expected for the United States and New Mexico is very important,” said Iliana Lopez of La Plaza de Encuentro in Albuquerque. “For this reason, we should communicate to legislators the importance of more training for domestic caregivers. And, given the numbers of Spanish speakers in our state, access to Spanish language training and materials is imperative if we are to provide quality services for people in need of domestic care.”

Panel discussions included:

  • The impact of the Affordable Care Act on direct caregivers
  • How to get paid to become a family caregiver
  • Ways to use your skills to move among different occupations within the direct care field
  • Setting yourself apart from the rest by earning a credential

Throughout the day, speakers focused on the importance of information, education, credentialing and staying healthy as a caregiver. Two sessions talked about the value of direct caregivers, one from the perspective of a physician and the other from a parent of a child with a disability.

Almost without exception, evaluations from the approximately 130 attendees noted that the speakers made them feel that they were valued and their work was respected. “I found the summit very informative on the issues facing us in today’s health care market, said Janice Gorman, RN, of Bernalillo, NM.”A lot of good information stimulated ideas for plans for the future and, it was a great place to network.”

The summit was held in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association-New Mexico Chapter annual event. The state Developmental Disabilities Planning Council provided registration and travel scholarships for individuals and family members. A special thank you to all those who attended! See you next year!

Sessions included:

  • Affordable Care Act and what it means for caregivers
  • Demographics and the growing elderly population
  • Occupational safety and health
  •  High demand occupations
  • Education and training
  • Career pathways
  • State initiatives and good jobs for direct caregivers
  • Gaining national recognition through credentialing
  • Apprenticeships in direct care
  • Family caregivers as advocates
  • Technology issues caregivers face
  • And many more…

Special issues:

  • Get involved in national advocacy
  • Join a national movement of caregiver
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