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 …

IRS: Someone Will Be With You … Sometime Today

Hello, IRS? Is anyone there? That’s what you might be asking if you call the IRS with questions about your 2013 tax return. The agency says today starts one of the busiest weeks of the tax filing season for the IRS phone lines. So make yourself comfortable and settle in. You’re likely to be on hold longer than the 17.6 minutes customers waited last year to speak with someone. You think that’s bad? Some 20 million people, or 39 percent …

3 Challenges for Long-Term Care in America

Right now, at kitchen tables across America, real families are confronting the same question:  how will we care for mom or dad, or another loved one, if something happens and they can’t care for themselves without assistance?  And if and when the time comes, who will care for us? Following the Federal Commission on Long-Term Care‘s recently released report, AARP and The Hill Newspaper convened three of the Commissioners and other experts to discuss ways to improve long-term services and …

Giving Family Caregivers the Respect and Support They Deserve

Caring for a loved one with chronic or disabling conditions is a daily struggle for millions of American families. For decades, these intensely personal and family needs have generally been viewed as private issues and largely overlooked in public policy, although it would cost an estimated $450 billion to replace that care. But that may be changing. The federal Commission on Long-Term Care has taken an important step to elevate family caregiving as a public issue that can no longer …