Face the Facts: Family Caregivers Work

Here we go again. More black-and-white confirmation that elder responsibilities often negatively impact both employees and companies. A new fact sheet out from the AARP Public Policy Institute, in chilling percentages, shows the enormity of the issue and the need to implement or enhance workplace programs. Let me lay it out. Here are the statistics I found particularly revealing: 61 percent of family caregivers age 50-plus work either full-time (50 percent) or part-time (11 percent). 42 percent of U.S. employees have …

The Goyers: Opting for Multigenerational Living

I’ve had a strange obsession with watching The Waltons the past few months. I find myself DVRing every episode on three different channels. I watch 4 episodes a day. For some reason, I’ve been oddly attracted to their TV-land multigenerational family living and the connection to my childhood (when The Waltons was in its prime.) Now I know why. In the beginning of September my parents and I will be moving in together, forming our own version of 21st century …

Heat in Triple Digits? Keep Caregiver Cool

As I write this post, the thermometer on our back porch here in Phoenix hits a sizzling 110 degrees. But it’s a dry heat, you say?! Indeed. Nevertheless, I just fried my toes walking to the mailbox and I think the cactus in my yard is about to pull up roots and head for a dunk in the pool! I shudder to think what it’s like in humid areas of the country as temps rise. No doubt about it: it’s oppressive. …

Eldercare Finally Recognized by Feds

Wahoo, eldercare has arrived! The latest federal survey, which tracks how much time people spent per day working, performing household tasks, engaging in leisure activities, and taking care of children in 2011, has a new category: Eldercare. This entry into the annual American Time Use Survey (ATUS), put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reflects the deepening responsibilities Americans age 15+ have for providing unpaid care to someone over age 65–perhaps a parent, spouse, relative or friend. And just …

Where Dad Comes From

He is from Indiana corn fields and blinking fireflies on cool-moist summer nights. He is from generations of adventurers, farmers and teachers. He is from Clarence Vespacian a.k.a. C.V. or Mike, and Genevieve Mae a.k.a. G.G. or Genny. He is from  a passel of cousins with nicknames and games. He is from 100 years of family reunions with the sweetest of tea and juiciest cherry pie, and croquet wickets with balls whizzing by and uncles fiercely competing, with peals of …

Caregiver Respite: 5 Ways to Make It Last

The magic number for the trip was “5.” Five days of the sound of ocean. Five days of reading magazines. Five days of eating scrumptious seafood in lovely beachside restaurants. Five days of chatting non-stop with my dear friend of 45 years, Laurette. It took me five days of this nirvana to finally wake up in the morning without a panicky feeling, “What didn’t I do before I left? What do I need to get done today? What have I …