Family Caregivers, CARE Act Gain Support

BREAKING UPDATE:  The Hawaii legislature has created a task force to examine the critical role family caregivers serve  when their loved ones go into the hospital and then transition home. As a named member of the task force, AARP Hawaii will help evaluate how to implement provisions of the CARE Act as well as the community resources needed for family caregivers to safely care for their loved ones at home. In early 2015, the task force will make a recommendation …

New Tech Tools Promise to Make Caregiving Easier

Make room in your life for technology, family caregivers. That was a recurring theme at the American Society on Aging (ASA) annual conference that ended this past Saturday. And it was seconded heartily at the Boomer Summit, a daylong event held during ASA for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations that market to boomers and older adults. At the Boomer Summit, 85 out of the 300 companies there focused on caregivers. Thousands listened to ASA panels and presentations not only on technology …

Special Report Explores Caregiving in America

I have been very public about caregiving for my parents over the past several years, but I know that the majority of the 42 million family caregivers in the U.S. aren’t as vocal as I have been about the challenges we face. Thanks to a recent special report in the Washington Post, this “quiet force caring for an aging America,” as it is described, is getting national media attention. Perhaps our voices will not be so quiet as more Americans become …

The Caregiving Worries of Parents with Special Needs Kids

Most of us think about taking care of our aging parents or spouse, not our kids. But there are more than 11 million Americans currently providing care for a family member between the ages of 18 and 49. Many worry deeply about their loved one’s future should something unexpectedly happen to them or their spouse. “I worry night and day,” a friend told me. “What happens to my daughter when I’m no longer here?” Her daughter, now 27, has had neurological, …

Becoming a Better Caregiver With Help From Actors

Training medical students to do a better job by using actors to play patients is not new. But at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, actors are faking dementia and Parkinson’s disease to help family caregivers be more effective – and that’s downright novel. Last month, 16 caregiver spouses gathered at the hospital’s simulation center to boost their communication skills with a loved one. These husbands and wives were dealing with challenging behaviors and wanted help solving real-life issues. In the process, …

Fighting for Family Caregivers

Mike is a 55-year-old Mississippian and a family caregiver for his lifelong friend Joe, who suffered a stroke.  Mike has found more emotional strength than he knew he had when the reality hit that caring for Joe is a 24-hour-a-day job. Nancy went from daughter to family caregiver, and after weeks of sleeping in her father’s hospital room, stress-filled months and sleepless nights, she learned to rely on her siblings, make a plan and step back into her life. Amy …