Caregiving Spouses More Likely to Take on Medical Tasks, Report Finds

Spouses who are caregivers are significantly more likely than other family caregivers (adult children, for example) to perform many of the tasks that health care professionals do – including medication management, wound care, using meters and monitors, and more. Nearly two-thirds of spouses who are family caregivers (65 percent) performed such tasks, compared with 42 percent of other caregivers. Those are the findings of a new report issued today by the United Hospital Fund and the AARP Public Policy Institute. Among …

A Big Problem With Fill-in-the-Blank Wills

It’s tempting, I know. You’re trying to save money. You don’t have lots of property to leave to others. Your estate isn’t complicated. So you go to an office supply store, bookstore or online legal site, grab a standard will form and fill it in yourself. That’s what Ann Aldrich of Keystone Heights, Fla., did back in 2004. She left her property to her sister, Mary Jane Eaton, and added in a clause stating that if Eaton died before she …

Our Silent Army of Family Caregivers

As a caregiver who spent decades helping my Mom and Pop to live independently in their home, I understand what the compelling new report on military caregivers, released today, makes abundantly clear: Family caregivers who help our veterans need support – much like those of us who undertake the labor of love to assist our aging parents and other loved ones. While each caregiver’s experience is unique – whether we’re helping older adults, younger disabled Americans, our veterans - together, we …

Let’s Give Caregivers the Support They Deserve

You get up, get dressed, cook breakfast, make bag lunches for the kids, drop the kids off at school, rush to work, prepare for a big meeting, call to check in on your mom during lunch, go to your meeting, schedule your mom’s next doctor’s appointment, race to the pharmacy after work, drop off mom’s meds on your way home, cook dinner, help the kids with their homework, check in on mom again, and – finally – go to bed. …

Adult Day Care Benefits Caregivers, Study Shows

If Mom or Dad has dementia, using adult day services (ADS) just twice a week can reap surprising psychological and physical benefits for family caregivers. Yes, caregivers. According to a new Pennsylvania State University study, ADS can reduce caregivers’ emotional distress and may even protect against illness. It turns out that a hormone in the body produced by the adrenal gland, DHEA-S, gets depleted when you’re under chronic stress – and caregiving is unquestionably stressful.  The study suggests that ADS probably gives …

Living With Dementia and Caregivers: So Many Unmet Needs

Call me naive, but I didn’t realize that as many as 70 percent of the 5.4 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia are cared for by family and friends. A four-year Johns Hopkins School of Medicine study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined the unmet needs of people with dementia (PWD) living in the community (as opposed to long-term care) and their family caregivers. Researchers wanted to determine if there were a lot of unmet needs (an …