National expert to discuss "Home Alone" Family Caregiver survey results

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Feb 21, 2014

Dr. Susan Reinhard
Dr. Susan Reinhard

When: Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Where: Pacific Club, 1451 Queen Emma Street

Who: This event is free and open to all members of the healthcare community.

What: Dean’s Lecture Series: Complex Chronic Senior Care and Family Caregivers

The role of family caregivers has expanded dramatically to include performing medical and nursing tasks of the kind once only provided in hospitals. To understand the impact of this major shift on families, the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund undertook the first nationally representative population-based online survey of 1,677 family caregivers to determine what medical/nursing tasks they perform.  This report reveals the complexity and difficulty of specific tasks, the lack of support and training family caregivers receive, and the effect on their quality of life. The findings highlight an urgent need for both individual and collective action. 

Dr. Susan Reinhard, the lead researcher, will present the findings and dialogue with the audience about the relevance for Hawaiʻi. “As Hawaiʻi transforms our health care delivery, we are moving to coordinate efforts of hospitals, home care agencies, community agencies, nursing homes, hospices, and physicians—and build a level of teamwork across settings. We have an opportunity to build a network of training and support for family caregivers,” said Mary G. Boland, DrPH, RN, FAAN, Dean of UH Mānoa Nursing.

Reinhard is a Senior Vice President at AARP, directing its Public Policy Institute, the focal point for public policy research and analysis at the state, federal and international levels. She also serves as the Chief Strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America at AARP, a national resource and technical assistance center created to ensure that America has the nurses it needs to provide care both now and in the future. She is a nationally recognized expert in health and long-term care policy, with extensive experience in conducting, directing and translating research to promote policy change. Prior to AARP, Reinhard served as a Professor and Co-Director of Rutgers Center for State Health Policy as well as Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, where she led the development of health policies and nationally recognized programs for family caregiving, consumer choice and control in health and supportive care, assisted living and other community-based care options, quality improvement, state pharmacy assistance, and medication safety.

Reinhard’s visit coincides with consideration by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature of a bill recognizing the expanded role of unpaid family caregivers. Senate Bill 2264 – The CARE Act – would require hospitals to provide caregivers with notice of discharge and transfer decisions and instruct caregivers on medical tasks needed to be provided at home. The bill is intended to manage health care costs by reducing costly hospital readmissions. There are approximately 247,000 family caregivers in Hawaiʻi who provided unpaid care valued at nearly $2 billion in 2009.

While in Hawaiʻi, Reinhard will speak with UH Mānoa Nursing students, the Hawaiʻi State Center for Nursing, AARP Hawaiʻi, and members of the local healthcare community. Contact UH Mānoa Nursing at or (808) 956-8522 for more information.

About Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complete Chronic Care

The study report can be accessed at



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