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May 27, 2021

What is a care manager?  In this week’s podcast we talk with Chanee Fabius, who after a personal experience caring for a family member with dementia, became a care manager.  Chanee explains in clear terms what a care manager is, what training is required, and what training is required.  In essence, a care manager is a “glue person” who hold things together.

After observing major race/ethnic disparities in caregiving, Chanee was inspired to obtain a doctoral degree in gerontology, and her research is now directed toward reducing disparities in caregiving, particularly for patients with dementia.  See for example, her recent paper in the Gerontologist describing Black and White differences in caregiving.

We are also joined by Halima Amjad, a geriatrician-researcher, who, like Halima, is at Hopkins.  Halima is very interested in improving care for people with dementia.  As she notes, when we talk about outcomes for older adults, we often talk about the characteristics of the patient as predictors, but rarely do we consider how caregiver factors might influence important outcomes for older adults.  In a paper published in JAGS, Halima found that caregiver factors predict hospitalization.  For example, caregivers who are new to the caregiving role are more likely to care for someone who is subsequently hospitalized than someone who has been caregiving for longer.

We talk about all things caregivers, including research issues around the need to assess the needs of caregivers, health policy issues such as how to provide more support for caregivers, and clinical issues, such as the fact that the identity and contact information for caregivers are not routinely captured in the EHR.