Jean Accius is a nationally recognized thought leader on aging, caregiving and long-term care policy. He is Vice-President of the Long Term Services & Supports and Livable Communities Group within the AARP Public Policy Institute.

Global Aging: Creating Age Friendly & Vibrant Societies for All Ages

The United States is quickly approaching a historic milestone. By 2035, the number of older adults age 65 and older will exceed the number of children for the first time in American history. Each day, 10,000 people turn 65, and that will continue for years to come. This will impact states and communities and reshape industries. The aging of the population, in fact, is a global trend. Societies in industrialized and developing countries alike will see their populations get older …

This Father’s Day, Celebrate Male Family Caregivers Rising to the Challenge

Most people think of family caregivers as women taking care of their aging parents or children. What many don’t know is that 40 percent of the 40 million family caregivers in this country are men. These men range in age from 20-something to 60-something and up. Some step into the role suddenly after a family member or friend is injured or falls ill; for others, the role increases gradually as parents age or someone close is diagnosed with a fatal …

When a Father Becomes a Caregiver for His Wife

When telling the story of my caregiving journey, listeners regularly react in some mix of amazement and pity at my need to juggle the responsibilities of being caregiver to my wife, Kim, and raising my young daughter, Reagan. I often just smile and tell them that I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Caregiving can be a dreadful and isolating experience. I certainly throw my fair share of pity parties for myself, and at times it is overwhelmingly difficult …

New Year’s Resolution: Have Those Hard Conversations about Long-Term Care

The New Year offers us the opportunity to start anew. We make plans to hit the gym, sleep more, and eat healthier. We commit to spending more time with family and friends rather than merely clicking likes and posting comments on Facebook or sending emojis via text. We resolve to save more and stress less.  Many of us even create plans with specific strategies to increase the odds we’ll be successful in reaching our goals. Yet there are those areas of …

Hanging in the Balance: The High Cost of Long-Term Services and Supports

I recently had the opportunity to participate on a panel sponsored by Genworth that turned out to be a truly candid and oftentimes personal discussion on an emerging crisis. The topic: “Solving America’s Long-Term Care Crisis: What We Can Do Now to Fix the $750 Billion Program.” In what way was the panel candid and personal? Much of it had to do with cost. Every day across the United States, millions of families sit at kitchen tables grappling with the …

Breaking Stereotypes: Male Family Caregivers

Being a family caregiver — that is, providing unpaid care to a parent, spouse, friend or other adult loved one — is hard work. It can also be rewarding work. The struggles, frustrations and stress associated with this caregiving journey cross gender lines. While the “typical” family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who takes care of a relative, 4 out of 10 caregivers are men.[i] Men, often due to societal perceptions, have been less likely to talk about the emotional …