Susan Reinhard, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, is a senior vice president at AARP, directing its Public Policy Institute, the focal point for AARP's public policy research and analysis. She also serves as the chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America, a resource center to ensure the nation has the nurses it needs.

Five Reasons Our Video Series Can Support Family Caregivers — and the Nurses Who Work With Them

Since AARP started partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning last year to produce a series of 10 videos (five in English, five in Spanish) through the Home Alone Alliance, which I first wrote about here, we’ve only gotten more excited about the project. The goal of the videos is to bridge the gap between what family caregivers are expected to do and the information and know-how actually bestowed on them. Just as importantly, nurses can take advantage of …

The Family Caregiver–Mother’s Day Connection

With this being the week of Mother’s Day, it’s a good time to highlight a less-talked-about role of many women. As an AARP Public Policy Institute report recently discussed, 6 out of 10 family caregivers are female. (By “family caregiver,” I mean those who aren’t paid to help an ill or infirm family member.) Particularly at this time of year when we honor mothers, it’s important to remember that many of these women care for parents or a spouse while …

New Home Alone Alliance Video Series Brings Together AARP and VA to Support Family Caregivers

In 2016, AARP launched the Home Alone Alliancesm in collaboration with the United Hospital Fund, the Family Caregiver Alliance and the Betty Irene Davis School of Nursing at the University of California at Davis. The Home Alone Alliancesm is a collaborative that brings together partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to create solutions that support family caregivers. AARP partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a Home Alone Alliancesm member, to release a video series instructing …

New Report Identifies Best Practices for Caregiver Instructional Videos

“He’s been in the hospital about 18 times over the past two years. Leaving the hospital the first time was particularly scary because he came home with drains from his wounds. They had to be cleaned frequently. I had a few lessons in the hospital, but I wasn’t prepared for doing it myself when we came home. I knew the procedure, but nothing prepared me for seeing his open wound and having to clean it. I was scared, really scared.” …

The Most Invisible Family Caregivers

Do you know anyone who supports a family member, neighbor or friend with mental health issues? Chances are you do. But it’s likely you don’t know you do. That’s because people who provide care and support to those with mental health issues are the most invisible of all family caregivers. There are about as many family caregivers of adults with mental illness as there are family caregivers of adults with dementia. Why is that surprising even to us, even though …

Stepping Up to Support Family Caregivers

  Family caregivers are doing more than ever to support their family members, neighbors and friends who have long-term or chronic health needs.  They shop, cook, drive and manage finances. They bathe, dress, toilet and feed. Most also do things they never even dreamed they would need to do — unless they went to nursing school. They give dozens of pills, eye drops, patches, suppositories, injections, even intravenous medications at home. They perform wound care and manage colostomies and tube …