10 Must-Have Gadgets for Caregivers

En español | I’ve been a family caregiver for more than 30 years, and I’ve found that there are some gadgets that not only make my life much easier but also make the lives of those I’m caring for much safer and happier. Some of these handy items are simple, and others are high-tech. Prices can vary widely but most of the gadgets are relatively inexpensive, and one of my favorites is even homemade. You can find all of these products …

‘Caring for Mom and Dad’ — a Documentary Hits Home

Watching the new PBS documentary Caring for Mom and Dad was like looking in a mirror. The gut-wrenching heartaches, stress, fatigue, fears — but most of all, the love — these families experience reflect my own caregiving journey. The film (check local listings or watch online at pbs.org/caringformomanddad) is narrated by actress Meryl Streep and highlights several adult children’s experiences as they work and care for parents who are dealing with strokes, dementia and other health challenges as they age. It …

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 …