Putting a Price on Caregiving

The value of unpaid family caregivers is staggering — an estimated $470 billion, according to a new AARP report — but as far as I’m concerned, no dollar figure can ever come close to our true value. I know that my contributions as my family’s caregiver go far beyond the amount it would cost to pay someone else for the hours I provide care, and I’m sure others like me would agree. In my case, there are my financial investments in his well-being, including the …

‘Caring for Mom and Dad’ — a Documentary Hits Home

Watching the new PBS documentary Caring for Mom and Dad was like looking in a mirror. The gut-wrenching heartaches, stress, fatigue, fears — but most of all, the love — these families experience reflect my own caregiving journey. The film (check local listings or watch online at pbs.org/caringformomanddad) is narrated by actress Meryl Streep and highlights several adult children’s experiences as they work and care for parents who are dealing with strokes, dementia and other health challenges as they age. It …

Reaching Across Party Lines to Support Caregivers

Members of Congress announced Tuesday the formation of the Assisting Caregivers Today caucus, a bipartisan coalition that aims to bring more attention to the plight of family caregivers. With the support of AARP and more than 20 other national organizations, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) had an afternoon news conference to announce their efforts to provide more help for people to live independently as well as to …

4 Tough Decisions I’ve Made as a Caregiver

As a caregiver, I make a hundred decisions on my parents’ behalf every week. Whenever possible, I make decisions with my parents – but many times I am forced to make decisions for them. Some are easier than others. Sometimes I take it in stride…other days the stress piles up and an implosion is inevitable. Some decisions are made quickly in the spur of the moment – like deciding whether to take time to stop and take a walk with Dad and Jackson, …