2020 Pacesetter Prize Winner

Support for Family Caregivers

Why a Pacesetter Prize for New York?

New York is a national leader – and this year’s Pacesetter Award winner for Support for Family Caregivers – because of its comprehensive approach to empowering family caregivers across government programs and agencies. New York ranked No. 11 in Support for Family Caregivers in 2017 and moved to No. 5 in 2020. Its overall State Scorecard ranking rose from No. 20 to No. 11 during the same period.

Success Highlights

  • New York significantly strengthened its laws to support family caregivers. The state is increasing paid family leave from eight to 12 weeks per year between 2018 and 2021, while also expanding guaranteed job protections. Home health aides with advanced training are now permitted to carry out certain tasks under supervision of a licensed nurse, and hospitals are required to work with a designated family caregiver who supports the person’s discharge transition. This helps prevent unnecessary readmissions.
  • The state has several transportation programs to support family caregivers, including flexibility in federal, state and local funding, and a new unmet need appropriation, the National Family Caregiver Support Program, Medicaid Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, and Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program.
  • New York State’s Department of Health funds 10 community-based organizations serving as Centers of Excellence for Alzheimer’s disease. These programs provide an array of family caregiver supports and services to delay institutionalization, reduce caregiver burden, avoid hospitalizations, and reduce emergency department visits.
  • Respite care supporters are building a business case for employers to support employees’ family caregiving needs. They launched a new Statewide Caregiving and Respite Virtual Resource Center and are developing an innovative caregiver simulation program that builds understanding and empathy for family caregivers’ experiences.
  • Through the governor’s Executive Order #190, New York is building age-friendly principles, including in transportation, into state agency planning and procurement.

What’s next for New York?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York developed and implemented a family caregiver coaching program to support staff at family caregiving agencies, helping them think through converting in-person services to virtual offerings. A forthcoming Caregiver Guide for Businesses will bolster activities to educate businesses about family caregiver needs, including conducting simulations to help business leaders better understand the pressures their family caregiver employees face.