Moments That Keep Caregivers Strong

This week, like so many others, I was deeply touched by a precious moment — captured on video — between Georgia resident Kelly Gunderson and her 87-year-old mother, Daphne, who suffers with Alzheimer’s disease. As mother and daughter converse, lying side by side in what appears to be a hospital bed, Daphne recognizes her daughter — for the first time in a long while. Having been a family caregiver myself, I know moments like this keep us strong and help …

What Is a Livable Community, and How Do We Measure One?

Older adults have a diverse range of preferences, needs and constraints. Income, caregiver/disability status, race and ethnicity, location and other personal factors all impact residents’ perspective on the features of their community. To advance our understanding of community livability, we held focus groups and fielded a nationwide survey to look at what older adults want and need in their communities. Their responses addressed many components of AARP’s official definition of a “livable community.” These include safety, affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, community …

Report Shows Americans Don’t Worry About Aging Population

“What? Me worry?” Those famous words of Mad Magazine’s fictitious Alfred E. Neuman seem to sum up the attitude Americans have about whether aging is a problem in this country. A just-released Pew Research Center global aging report asked residents of 21 countries if they thought the burgeoning number of older people was a “major problem” for their country and for themselves. In fact, the United States ranked No. 19, or two places from the lowest. Japanese and South Koreans, who …

Working Caregivers Need Government and Employers to Do a Better Job

Employers and policy leaders, are you listening? With the onslaught of aging boomers, the need for family-friendly work-leave policies will only increase. And yet, current policies don’t reach enough people and are not meeting the needs of today’s working caregivers. That’s the conclusion of a new report, Keeping Up with the Times: Supporting Family Caregivers with Workplace Leave Policies, issued by the AARP Public Policy Institute. Although the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted 20 years ago, …

Supporting Family Caregivers With Leave Policies in the Workplace

My sisters and I are long-distance caregivers for our 92-year old mom. We have already experienced this profound caregiving journey, having cared for our dad for nearly seven years before he died at age 94. We know how overwhelming and stressful it can be to juggle work and caregiving responsibilities. But my sisters and I are far from alone. Many of my work friends and colleagues are family caregivers too. Nearly two out of three (62%) workers aged 45 to …

What’s Happened to Housing Affordability?

The National Association of Realtors announced earlier this year that its Housing Affordability Index shows 2012 was a record year for housing affordability.  Subsequently, articles appeared in the media with titles such as “Housing Today Is More Affordable Than at Any Time in History” and “2012 a Banner Year for Housing Affordability, Industry Group Says.” In addition, I’ve seen TV reports that continue to note how affordable housing has become. All of these are at odds with study findings presented …