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AARP Caregiving Forum Round-up

Posted By Amy Goyer On December 2, 2011 @ 6:12 pm In Caregiving | Comments Disabled

Earlier this week, I watched AARP’s forum, The Challenges of Family Caregiving: What Needs to be Done? [1] via webcast. Sitting in front of my computer in Arizona, I watched the speakers discuss their caregiving experiences and their recommendations for program and policy improvements to support more than 40 million family caregivers [2] in the U.S. The 10 speakers were authors of books about caregiving and experts in their fields, but first and foremost, they are – or have been – family caregivers themselves. That’s why their comments resonated so much for me.

If you missed the live event, you can still watch an archived webcast of the forum [1] online!  Or, if you just want a quick summary, here are the key points that the presenters made:

  • To raise awareness, it’s important for caregivers to be open and honest about what we are going through – the challenges, emotions and needs we have (that’s what I try to do with this blog.)
  •  To really affect policy and program improvements, family caregivers need to be a concerted voice – an organized social movement. But we caregivers are tired! We’re overwhelmed with our responsibilities, so it’s difficult to activate and organize us.
  • Communication between doctors and family members and among family members needs to be improved.
  • Caregiving is a role and relationship, but it’s also our job. I love this one – it’s something I’m constantly telling people. It really is a job (whether full-time or part time) and many of us are thrown into it with no training.
  • Speakers’ recommendations included: allow flexible medical savings accounts to be used for eldercare;  begin hospital discharge planning at admission – not an hour before discharge; create a national council of family caregivers and work to “normalize” family caregiving (I’d love to serve on that council!)

Watch the webcast and let me know what points resonated for you – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2011/12/02/aarp-caregiving-forum-round-up/

URLs in this post:

[1] The Challenges of Family Caregiving: What Needs to be Done?: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-11-2011/Solutions-ForumThe-Challenges-of-Family-Caregiving-What-Needs-To-Be-Done.html

[2] more than 40 million family caregivers: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-07-2011/valuing-the-invaluable.html

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