Tips for Family Caregivers Who Are Considering Leaving Their Job

I am a working “sandwich generation” caregiver for my parents and son. I know the daily challenges of caring for aging parents with cognitive and health care needs while holding down a full-time job and raising a family. And I’m not alone. Roughly 40 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult in the past 12 months. In our recent Valuing the Invaluable report, 6 in 10 caregivers reported having a job in the past year.  Balancing caregiving responsibilities with a …

What Are We Doing to Support our Valuable Family Caregivers?

About 40 million people in America care for a family member, neighbor or friend who has limitations in everyday activities. We call these people “family caregivers.” Most of them juggle work and family caregiving responsibilities, which can seriously affect their physical and emotional health. Together, this invisible workforce provides 37 billion hours of care, which the AARP Public Policy Institute values at $470 billion. That’s 470 BILLION dollars. Hard to get your head around that number. But try. Because it …

What Every Caregiver Needs to Know About Medicare

As Medicare celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, I’m grateful it has been there to help my grandparents, parents and sister. We couldn’t have coped without it. Even so, Medicare can be complicated for a caregiver to understand and manage. Other caregivers often tell me their biggest challenge in managing a loved one’s finances is dealing with health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. For example, when my parents’ primary care doctor of more than 20 years decided not to accept their …

Family Caregiving Worth $470 Billion a Year, AARP Finds

The economic value of the nation’s family caregivers’ unpaid work is an estimated $470 billion a year — an amount about equal to the annual sales of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company. That’s the top finding from the AARP Public Policy Institute’s new report, “Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.” The survey found that an estimated 40 million U.S. caregivers devote about 37 billion hours to assisting adult relatives or close friends. Get the support you need to care — AARP Caregiving Resource Center » …

Hospital to Rehab to Home: How to Ease Transitions

I’ve recently been helping a friend who has been managing her mother’s transitions from a hospital to a rehab facility and then to another rehab facility that now wants to send her home before she, or her family, is ready. It reminded me of how tough family caregiving transitions can be. I’ve been through so many of them with my parents and my sister — some smooth, others unexpected and rocky. As a study in the American Journal of Nursing found, …

This Weekend: Ruffalo and the Stones

It won’t put a dent in the long-awaited return of Seth MacFarlane’s famously foul-mouthed teddy bear, but Infinitely Polar Bear — the quirky, warm-hearted story of a family coping with mental illness — is this week’s best grownup bet in theaters. At home, the Rolling Stones party like it’s 1971.   Signifies a Movies for Grownups Critic’s Pick    Infinitely Polar Bear Mark Ruffalo is irresistible as a Boston father struggling with bipolar disorder while raising two spirited daughters. Writer-director Maya Forbes based the …