CARE Act

Help for Family Caregivers

Posted on 07/21/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsWhile traveling to Erie, Pa., for a town meeting on family caregiving, I was reflecting on my family roots. A little more than 100 years ago, my Lithuanian grandparents immigrated to America and made Shenandoah, Pa., their first hometown. My grandfather worked in the coal mines and my grandmother, fluent in six languages, worked various jobs while raising five children — one of whom was my mom. My grandparents taught me about hard work and perseverance, and my parents taught …

Supporting Seniors, Family Caregivers: Where Does Your State Rank?

Posted on 06/23/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsMy sister always says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  I was reminded of this adage when I heard Loren Colman, Minnesota assistant commissioner of continuing care, explain how Minnesota is consistently ranked at the top of the nation when it comes to providing support for seniors and their family caregivers. “We planned,” he said.  Indeed, Minnesota developed a plan decades ago to transform the way the state would deliver long-term care services to older residents in their …

States Start Shifting Focus to Help Seniors Live Independently, at Home

Posted on 06/16/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Politics“We need to ‘spring’ your mother,” Pop, who loved prison movies, told me over the phone while asking me to come home that weekend. Mom had been in a rehabilitation center for two weeks following a bad fall and a hospital stay. Both she and Pop were ready for her to go home. My mom and pop, like most Americans, wanted to stay in their home and community as they aged. Pop became the primary family caregiver for Mom, and …

Caring for Our Spouses

Posted on 04/14/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsBREAKING UPDATE 5/15: Oklahoma becomes the first state in the nation to enact the CARE Act!  SB 1536, also known as the CARE Act, has been signed by Governor Mary Fallin and will take effect November 1, 2014. The bill will help the 600,000 family caregivers in Oklahoma when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.     Meet the Mitchems and the Shapards: two Oklahoma families who would benefit greatly from the Caregiver Advise, Record, …

Mom, Pop & the CARE Act

Posted on 04/7/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsAs I recently told Ron Fournier of the National Journal, the memories of Mom and Pop are part of what drive me in my work to support family caregivers as they help their loved ones live independently at home. Like most Americans, Mom and Pop wanted to stay at home — and not go into a nursing home or other facility. In their 80s they become first-time homeowners of a one-story house, and I continued in my role as their …

Our Silent Army of Family Caregivers

Posted on 04/1/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

PoliticsAs a caregiver who spent decades helping my Mom and Pop to live independently in their home, I understand what the compelling new report on military caregivers, released today, makes abundantly clear: Family caregivers who help our veterans need support — much like those of us who undertake the labor of love to assist our aging parents and other loved ones. While each caregiver’s experience is unique — whether we’re helping older adults, younger disabled Americans, our veterans — together, we …