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, …

A New Place to Talk About Death: A Cafe

Wanna talk about death? It seems that a lot of people do. Death cafes are popping up around the country, with more than 60 so far. You will be hearing a lot more about them. (I swear on my life.) Look, even USAToday has written about them! At these Cafes, the conversation is about … death: Our fear of it, how we prepare for our own, what we think happens after it’s over, near-death experiences, grieving rituals and funerals. The biggest …

Community Caregiving in Cohousing

Remember when neighborhoods were like caring villages? I never had that experience, but got more than a hint when I visited Camelot Cohousing in Berlin, Mass., a couple of weeks ago. I went to do a housing story and found a family caregiving story! It also brought home the point that there are many ways to grow old and have support. Whether you’re a boomer or in your 70s and beyond, it’s an interesting option. First, the cohousing concept: People …

Reimagining Communities for Future Generations

January 1, 2011, the day the baby boomers began turning 65, marked the beginning of the greatest demographic shift in our nation’s history – a shift that will see one of every five Americans age 65 and older by 2050. We’ve been talking about the impending age Boom for years. Well, suffice to say that the boom is here. Often, the ‘aging’ of America is talked about in the aggregate.  Indeed, here in Washington, conversations about the aging population usually …

Boomer Suicides Soar: Is the Economy to Blame?

Was it because of the devastating economic recession of the past decade, or the widespread mortgage crisis? Or maybe it was due to the abuse of prescription painkillers like OxyContin, or the pressure of being the “sandwich generation”? There are plenty of theories for why new government figures show the suicide rate for middle-aged Americans – adults ages 35 to 64 – jumped nearly 30 percent between 1999 and 2010. The increase was even higher – a 40 percent rise …

Aging Boomers Less Healthy Than Their Parents

The nation’s 78 million baby boomers may be living longer than their parents, but a new study finds that boomers have worse health than the previous generation. Researchers from the West Virginia University School of Medicine and the Medical University of South Carolina wondered if those born between 1946 and 1964 were living longer only because of advances in medicine, not because they were really healthier than prior generations. To find out, the researchers compared the boomers’ and an earlier generations’ …