Imagine you care for your 90-year-old mother with dementia. She lives with you in your Georgia home. You help her with bathing and dressing, drive her to the doctor, cook her meals, manage her medications and do anything else she needs. Last year you were appointed her legal guardian by the state of Georgia to help manage her finances and make decisions for her about health care and more.
Let me introduce you to a fellow family caregiver, Lisa. With the help of her sister, Lisa cared for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease — managing medications, cleaning the house, and handling any medical issues. They also managed her mother’s finances. Lisa shared:
Cyndie’s dad suffered a stroke seven years ago. She moved him from Pennsylvania to her home in Wisconsin so she could take care of him. It isn’t always an easy road, but Cyndie is thankful for the precious time she gets to spend with her father. Francesca and her family moved to Florida to care for her aging mother, leaving their home of 27 years in Connecticut. Her role as caregiver grows each month.
"We need to 'spring' your mother," Pop, who loved prison movies, told me over the phone while asking me to come home that weekend. Mom had been in a rehabilitation center for two weeks following a bad fall and a hospital stay. Both she and Pop were ready for her to go home.
This week, Health Insurance Marketplaces opened in states across the country. It's true: Many more Americans will now have access to affordable health care. But, other hard-working people, who live in states that have not yet committed to expanding Medicaid, will fall into a new coverage gap.
As we head into the long Memorial Day weekend, we honor those who sacrificed their lives for our country. Let's also remember the veterans who fought alongside those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They made sacrifices of their own while fighting for our country, to secure our safety. They left their families, often for long periods of time. Many were injured and continue to have health care needs. Today, let's think about helping those veterans - and their families - who are here with us now.
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