Building Family: How Guardianship Can Create Community

The Post-it note on the box said, “Little things. Wanna look? I found it in my grandparents’ dining room, tucked alongside the candles and platters they used on special occasions. At that point, my grandmother, whom I called Dibi, had lived with Alzheimer’s disease for a few years. Ever the charmer, Dibi could hide it well, but those of us who knew her knew the battle was just beginning. I love to think about that box and imagine what was …

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 …

It’s Time to Talk About America’s Long-Term Care Crisis

AARP applauds the Bipartisan Policy Center for highlighting the need for a real discussion about America’s long-term care crisis and solutions to address it. Millions of individuals and families currently caring for loved ones are faced every day with physical, financial and emotional challenges. Family caregivers need support — individuals want to live independently in their homes and communities — and as a country we are not prepared. Every night, families are discussing these tough issues around their kitchen table. It’s time …

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 …

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 …