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 …

AARP Announces 2014 Advocacy Agenda: Across the States

AARP is fighting for older Americans and their families in states across the country, focused on the key issues they are facing, front-and-center, in their daily lives.  Our state advocacy work is driven by AARP’s state offices – located in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands – where we work with governors, state legislators, other policymakers and in collaboration with numerous community partners.  In 2014 AARP is focusing on: Supporting Family Caregivers AARP is …

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 …

Medicare Clarifies Rehab Coverage

You know how frustrating-no, make that infuriating-it can be to try to get reimbursed by Medicare for some rehabilitation services? You’re sure the rehab is helpful, but you can’t convince The Powers That Be. Why? It used to be that Medicare would pay only if the patient were improving.  Now, there’s been a healthy change in policy: You’ll be able to continue receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology services to prevent further deterioration (a.k.a. slow the decline) or …