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 …

Family Caregivers Shouldn’t Have to Go It Alone

When State Representative Elaine Harvey’s mother-in-law moved in with her she was also raising a two-year-old, four-year-old, seven-year-old, nine-year-old, and had little help from the outside. One day a week a public health nurse came to help bathe her mother-in-law, and that was it.  “Essentially we were on our own,” she says. Family caregivers shouldn’t have to do it alone.  Today as a legislator, Rep. Harvey tries to “increase and encourage support” for family caregivers so they can have the …

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, …

2015 White House Conference on Aging: Lives With Independence, Dignity and Purpose

AARP is pleased to support the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) on July 13. Beginning with the first conference in 1961 and for each one since, AARP has offered strong support because the sessions not only shine a spotlight on issues related to aging in America but also lead to practical solutions that make life better for people as they age. Watch a live stream of the event here » The conferences have introduced innovative ideas such as …