The Financial Burden of Being a Family Caregiver

Caring for family or friends is not just a matter of love and time, it’s also a matter of dollars and cents. According to a new survey from Caring.com, nearly half of caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year — a whopping $25,000 over the average caregiving stint of five years. And many spend far more. Complicating things is the reluctance of caregivers to talk about finances: Seven out of 10 have not spoken with loved ones about how to …

2014 Medicare Trustees Report Urges Responsible Solutions

The Medicare Trustees report today reminds us of the financial challenges facing Medicare, along with the overall high cost of health care. With 64 million Americans expected to be enrolled in Medicare by 2020, we must do more to reduce wasteful spending throughout our health care system. For starters, we can reduce costs and find significant savings in Medicare and throughout the health care system with responsible solutions rather than harmful cuts. By improving care coordination, utilizing technology more efficiently, …

Transportation Challenges: Is Your Community Livable?

Dennis Eisnach – AARP National Policy Council volunteer What do you do when you live in rural America and need a ride to the doctor’s office or have to pick up a prescription at the drugstore? Transportation is a basic need for seniors who want to age in place. This is a problem faced by seniors in rural America and many urban areas. As people age they become more dependent on public transportation. In rural America where there is limited …

New AARP Report Shows Why Older Americans Act Must Be Reauthorized Now

When I became a caregiver for my dad’s parents, Grandmother Genevieve had dementia and Granddaddy C.V., 10 years her senior, was struggling to care for her. I remember realizing they were getting by on a meager breakfast at home and a single meal at a cafeteria. Getting Grandmother into the car and Granddaddy driving her to the cafeteria were becoming scary, so I contacted the local Area Agency on Aging and arranged for delivery of Meals on Wheels to their …

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 …

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 …