What’s Different About Family Caregiving Today?

This is a pivotal time. Converging sociodemographic trends and more complex care needs are contributing to historically unprecedented challenges in family care of older people in the U.S. For most of human history, requiring help in old age was uncommon. As Atul Gawande writes in Being Mortal, “The natural course was to die before old age.” Only 41 percent of people born in 1900 survived to age 65. In sharp contrast, an estimated 84 percent of people born in 2010 …

Living Father’s Day

I don’t usually leave Daddy for long. But this time a series of work commitments – and a high school reunion – means I’ll stay away from home for 19 days. Although my sister Linda is going to be with Daddy for most of that time, it’s still very hard to leave knowing he may change a great deal while I’m away, and that he will probably feel less safe and secure without my presence. He doesn’t always know I am …

More Workplaces Offer Flexibility for Caregiving, Study Shows

Finally, employers seem to be getting the message that many of their workers have caregiving demands. Increasingly, both nonprofit and for-profit companies are offering workplace flexibility, paid and unpaid leave, and resource and referral services, according to the 2014 National Study of Employers released today by the Families and Work Institute (FWI), along with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The study polled 1,051 employers with 50 or more employees. “The findings indicate that the issue of family caregiving is on the radar of …

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 …

Joy and Sorrow: A Precious Photo of My Mom and Me

It’s strange, the things that go through our minds when we are suffering a life-altering, heartbreaking loss. When my Mom passed just three weeks ago, one of the first things I thought of was the coming issue of the AARP Bulletin with our photo on the cover and an excerpt of my book, AARP’s Juggling Work and Caregiving. I knew it was to be a visual depiction of the love I feel for my mom and the care I was …

Losing Mom: The Void That Can’t Be Filled

It is with an impossibly heavy heart that I write this post. Patricia Ann Stutz Goyer, passed on Oct. 11 after a brief and sudden illness. To many she was friend, mentor, teacher, director, aunt, sister, wife … to me she was Mom, and she has been the inspiration for so much of my work and writing over the past four years. Mom was a remarkable woman. She grew up in Indiana, salutatorian of her high school graduating class. She …