New Bill in Congress Aims to Support Family Caregivers

Forty million Americans care for their older parents, spouses and other loved ones to help them live independently, at home, each and every day — I am one of them. We family caregivers help with bathing and dressing, transportation, providing meals, and much more. We even handle complex medical tasks like wound care or giving injections. Today, we are an essential part of the U.S. health care system. The unpaid care family caregivers provide is valued at about $470 billion …

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 …

Making Caregiving Across State Lines Easier

Imagine you’re a caregiver for your mom, who lives in Oregon. You, however, live in North Carolina. As your mother’s health declines, you become her legal guardian in Oregon, making decisions about her property, medical care and living arrangements. The process of becoming your mom’s legal guardian was not only time consuming but costly. Now your mother wants to move to North Carolina to be closer to you. North Carolina won’t recognize a guardianship order from Oregon, so you will …

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 …

White House Conference Turns Spotlight on Aging Issues

President Barack Obama and a host of experts and advocates for older Americans gathered at the White House July 13 to discuss a variety of issues about aging in America. Government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are great triumphs, Obama told nearly 200 attendees at the White House Conference on Aging, which since 1961 has been held about once a decade to help chart the course of policies on aging. More than 600 “watch parties” were held …