A Riverside County program that helps people provide better care for senior friends and relatives has been recognized by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Care Pathways is a Riverside County Office on Aging program designed to help family caregivers with the challenges they encounter as caregivers. By offering education in a support-group setting, participants get to train alongside other caregivers. The program improves the quality of care in the community and as well as the quality of life for caregivers and their loved ones. It also reduces the risk of social isolation and depression among caregivers. The program includes 12 weeks of workshops that address issues that confront caregivers, such as how to talk to doctors and understanding the legal issues related to caregiving. The informal workshops are intended to create a group therapy atmosphere.
The program was developed and implemented by the Office on Aging, an aging and disability resource connection. It is funded through a partnership with the Riverside County Department of Mental Health, through the Mental Health Services Act.
“Our responsibility is to support our clients, as well as their caregivers, so they know they don’t have to go it alone,” said Michele Haddock, director of the Riverside County Office on Aging. “The Care Pathways program is vital in connecting caregivers to the education and peer support they need to maintain their own health and well-being.”
The Ash Center’s Bright Ideas program includes 124 programs across the United States at all levels of government, as well as public-private partnerships, that are at the forefront in innovative government action.
“The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn’t always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that, in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms.”
For consideration in Bright Ideas, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching, have sufficient operational resources, and be administered by at least one governmental entity. Nonprofit, private-sector and union initiatives are eligible if they operate in partnership with a governmental organization. Bright Ideas is showcased on the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions.
About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the center fosters creative and effective government problem-solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. For more information, visit www.ash.harvard.edu.