Caring for Our Spouses

BREAKING UPDATE 5/15: Oklahoma becomes the first state in the nation to enact the CARE Act!  SB 1536, also known as the CARE Act, has been signed by Governor Mary Fallin and will take effect November 1, 2014. The bill will help the 600,000 family caregivers in Oklahoma when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.     Meet the Mitchems and the Shapards: two Oklahoma families who would benefit greatly from the Caregiver Advise, Record, …

The CARE Act: Caring for Family Caregivers

I was a family caregiver for my Mom and Pop for more than 15 years. After all they’d done for me, it was my pleasure to care for them. Through the years, we were in and out of a dozen hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Each time at discharge, I was handed a dizzying array of responsibilities to ensure my parents recovered from illness and regained their health and happiness. Medication changes, wound care, nebulizers and more became part of our …

Caregiving Across State Lines

Meet Lynn Achter, a Wyoming resident, who was granted guardianship of her brother in Oregon after he suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident.   From a thousand miles away, she managed his money, made medical decisions, and coordinated the resources and services he needed. The distance made Lynn’s caregiving responsibilities even more difficult, and she decided to move her brother to Wyoming.  That’s when Lynn discovered that Wyoming did not have a uniform guardianship law, and she would have …

Who Cares? Boomers Don’t Want to Live With Their Adult Kids, Either

Guess what Millennials? Your boomer parents aren’t dying to move in with you if they need care in retirement. That’s one of the takeaways of a new study. (With three young adult children, that’s what first caught my eye!) Bankers Life and Casualty Company’s Center for a Secure Retirement surveyed 1,299 Americans ages 49-67 (boomers) with an annual income of $25,000-$75,000 to find out their views on their future as recipients of care. In the study, boomers say that in the past …

The Future Supply of Family Caregivers

   Shakespeare declared, “What’s past is prologue.” This statement captures the demographic trends that predict the future supply of family caregivers in the United States. The past may be prologue, but the future ability of families to care for their aging members who encounter disabilities will be a “brave new world,” to quote the Bard again. In a recently released paper, we defined a “caregiver support ratio” as the number of potential caregivers ages 45-64 for each person age 80 …

Building Your Caregiving Team

As a caregiver, I have had many “aha!” moments. The following excerpt from my upcoming book, AARP’s Juggling Work and Caregiving (available November 2013) describes one of those moments when I realized I needed to build up my caregiving team: Eight months after I’d relocated to Phoenix to help my parents, I found myself frozen, unable to drag myself out of bed and face my to-do list. I was emotionally exhausted and utterly overwhelmed. I leaned out of bed far enough to …