DEFT Celebrates National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month and DUSON’s Duke Elder Family/Caregiver Training (DEFT) Center is joining the celebration.

Approximately 77 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to their loved ones in the last 12 months. The care they give ranges from providing medical and nursing tasks to shopping, transportation and assistance with daily living activities. Additionally, these caregivers spend on average 13 hours per month researching how to effectively care for their loved ones, a role The DEFT Center fills for patients and caregivers in the Duke University Health System. This month, we celebrate these caregivers and the vital role they fill on their loved one’s care team.  

The DEFT Center will sponsor events throughout the month of November to recognize and honor family caregivers. You can find representatives from DEFT at Duke University Hospital from 12 until 1 p.m. on November 7 and November 14 in front of the cafeteria; they will also be providing nursing and case management staff with in-services at all three hospitals during the first two weeks of November. 

“November is a special month for DEFT, when we set aside time to celebrate the caregiving role, which is often underappreciated and under supported,” says Doreen Matters, DEFT program director. “Just recently all Duke University Health System in-patient RNs are now approved to input DEFT consult orders, allowing DEFT to serve more caregivers in the future.”

The DEFT Center trains, educates and empowers individuals in their role as caregivers of homebound older adults. They offer an academic-medical-community model that develops, implements and evaluates an innovative model for teaching, training and supporting caregivers who assist and care for elders at home following a hospital or rehabilitation discharge. Caregivers often report feeling more confident in their ability to care for loved-ones after completing training with the DEFT Center.

The Center’s program offers classes four days a week at Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital and Duke Raleigh Hospital. Learn more about the DEFT Center and what they offer caregivers here.

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