Williamsburg VA – Four years after launching the "Caring For You, Caring For Me" program in Williamsburg and providing support to Virginians caring for older adults, Riverside Health System's Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH) received statewide recognition for the impact it has made on hundreds of program graduates and thousands of families across the Commonwealth.

CEALH placed first in the Commonwealth Council on Aging's 2013 Best Practices Award Program. The 19-member Council is made up of Virginians from across the state, including 11 Governor appointed seats.

The "Caring For You, Caring For Me" program grew from an $80,000 Williamsburg Community Health Foundation grant and was modeled after the Rosalynn Carter Institute's (RCI) program.

According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, more than 300 million people serve as caregivers in the U.S., with more than 7.8 million of them living and working in Virginia.

Virginia caregivers provide 1.13 million hours of care per year at a value of $11.7 billion.

Caregivers save the healthcare system nationwide an estimated $450 billion annually by keeping older adults in their homes and out of emergency rooms, among other benefits.

According to the 2013 Alzheimer's Facts and Figures Report, people who care for loved ones with dementia cost the healthcare system $90 billion per year in poor physical and mental health.

Since its inception, CEALH's "Caring For You, Caring For Me" has trained 209 caregivers, who reach an estimated 5,000 older adults and fellow caregivers across the state.


Published: May 14, 2013