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New program aims to help Idaho's in-home caregivers

"This focuses on the invisible caretaker in the background," said the coordinator of the project.

BOISE, Idaho — An estimated 300,000 people in Idaho are providing critical, daily in-home health care to their loved ones. Those caregivers are now the focus of a project aimed at helping their mental health.

Marilyn Sword is the coordinator for the Idaho Caregiver Alliance -- a non-profit providing essential support to caregivers.

"We provide a free navigator," explained Sword. "They can be accessed through a phone, or online. If you're an adult and you're caring for your child with a developmental delay, or you're a senior caring for your spouse, or anything in between, and you're feeling the pressures of caregiving, you can call or go online, and take a short screener, and one of our navigators will contact you, and do a complete assessment. They'll develop a plan to keep your resilience as a caregiver."

The project is funded by Medicaid, and it's free for caregivers. Hundreds have been helped so far.

"Most services focus on the patient or client, but this focuses on the indivisible caretaker in the background," Sword said. "It's very high-touch and very personal."

If you would like to connect with the Idaho Caregivers Alliance, you can call 208-426-5899 or go to the group's website.

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