For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

PBS’ SECOND OPINION DISTRIBUTES 30,000 CAREGIVER GUIDES TO HELP INDIVIDUALS MANAGE THEIR LOVED ONES’ HEALTH CARE

(Rochester, New York) March 17, 2009 – PBS’ healthcare series, Second Opinion: Taking Charge of Your Health has produced a Caregiver’s Diary and Resource Guide to help individuals manage their loved ones’ health care. This is part of the Second Opinion for Caregivers initiative, supported by a grant from the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation. The initiative is designed to empower the more than 50 million Americans caring for a family member, friend, or loved one. Thirty thousand guides will be distributed to PBS stations across the country to share with their communities.

Second Opinion launched this outreach initiative when its fifth season premiered in October 2008, dedicating three episodes to caregiver issues. These include: an episode on caring for someone with a cognitive disease (Alzheimer's disease), an episode on caring for someone with a chronic disease (kidney disease), and an episode that shines a light on the very real danger of caregiver burnout. Selected PBS stations around the country will also provide outreach activities such as call-in talk shows, health fairs, community conversations, and other efforts to support family and paid caregivers.

The 65-page Caregiver’s Diary and Resource Guide includes caregiver advice, a list of resources, a glossary, a medication tracker, a diary for medical visits, tips, and an action checklist. A companion DVD will also be made available that features this season’s three caregiver episodes.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 50 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aging family member or friend. The need for family caregivers is only expected to increase in the years ahead as the number of people over 65 is expected to rise 2.3% per year, and the number of family members available to care for them will only increase at a rate of 0.8%, according toThe Center on an Aging Society.

Produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting, West 175 Productions, and the University of Rochester Medical Center, Second Opinion isseen on more than 250 PBS stations across the country. The series engages nationally recognized healthcare professionals—experts in various areas of medicine from around the country—and patients in a fast-paced, provocative discussion of real-life medical cases. Second Opinion airs on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011/DT21.1) Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m.

Individuals who would like a free copy of the Caregiver’s Diary and Resource Guide should contact Shelley Figueroa at WXXI by phone: (585) 258-0278, or email: sfigueroa@wxxi.org.

National underwriting for Second Opinion is provided by BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA).

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