This blog post is part of a series featuring panelists from the Portland Business Journal Caregiver Today Thought Leadership Forum. This is the second installment highlighting crucial takeaways from the discussions. Read part one by visiting Cambia's Pulse blog, "Portland Business Journal Caregiver Today Thought Leadership Forum: Reframing the Role and Support of the Modern Caregiver."
Peggy Maguire, Senior Vice President, Cambia Health Solutions
Holly Chaimov, Executive Director, Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon
Ryan Frank, Caregiver and Assistant Director, Public Affairs and Policy at Cambia Health Solutions
Kathy Perko, Provider, Program Director, Bridges Palliative Care Program at Doernbecher/OHSU
There are 43.5 million caregivers in the U.S. – and growing – yet this vulnerable group lays low, especially in the work place. It’s a struggle for employers who want to be mindful of their employees’ external lives and responsibilities.
How can health care step up to question, inform and change this sector’s invisibility issue? And how has caregiving affected employees’ productivity?
It all begins with trust and a candid conversation.
Kathy Perko, says “It takes some bravery for the parent to say to their employer: ‘Let me tell you what’s happening at home,’ but this behavior and vulnerability can and should be rewarded with support, resources and a mutually beneficial action plan.”
Peggy Maguire, who oversees Cambia’s enterprise-wide palliative care strategy, agrees. “One of the most important things we can do for caregivers, is to see them and recognize the work that they’re doing, the service they’re providing.”
Holly Chaimov, Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon, adds that caregivers often have a hard time feeling present; despite being away from their duties as a caregiver they often have a hard time completely detaching and relaxing.
At Cambia, we have created a number of resources to help employees who are living with serious illness or providing care to loved ones with serious illness.
In 2016 we launched the Cambia and Regence Employees’ Palliative Care Employee Resource Group (the CARE PC ERG) to address the needs of those employees who are also caregivers. This is the first group of its kind in the nation and supports employees through monthly conference calls that connect office colleagues with those who work remotely. Cambia is committed to a palliative care benefit that provides advance care planning, expanded home health medical care, expanded home health emotional and spiritual care, and caregiver support.
Learn more about the changing identity of today’s caregivers and how we can support them watching clips from the Portland Business Journal’s Caregiving Today thought Leadership Forum. You can read more from these health experts in their conversation with the Business Journal's Erica Heartquist.