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 …

Sibling Squabbles Over Mom? 7 Tips for Getting Along

Relationships with siblings can be solid and fulfilling, yet when there are issues regarding aging parents, even the sweetest situations can turn strained or worse. Hot-button issues are almost always around money (your parents’, caregiving expenses and who pays), family possessions, Mom and Dad’s independence and safety, living arrangements or medical decisions. You know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen…. Or not enough. Your brother and sister might be delighted to leave the caregiving to you. …

Just How Valuable Is Family Caregiving?

A welcome recognition of the value of family caregiving came in a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which estimated the economic value of caregiving for older persons in 2011 to be $234 billion. This estimate vastly exceeds the total amount of paid care from all sources (Medicaid, Medicare, private pay and others) for both institutional care ($134 billion) and home and community-based services ($58 billion). The AARP Public Policy Institute has made similar estimates of family caregiving …