Imagine this: You live on a fixed income and work hard to budget your money. You are very conscious about how you use your utilities. Yet, no matter how much electricity you use, your bill keeps going up.
This weekend we all had the opportunity to celebrate our fathers. As I remembered my Pop — a funny, hardworking, unselfish man — I thought about his devotion to my mom, especially during their later lives when he was her primary caregiver. He shouldered huge responsibilities that I think weighed heavily on his mind.
This week, New Mexico becomes the fifth state in the nation to implement the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. Passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Martinez, the Lay Caregiver Act, a version of the CARE Act, is a commonsense solution to help those caring for their older mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and other loved ones so they can live independently. The law ensures family caregivers have key support as their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.
Even with her training as a nurse, family caregiver Joanne Davis says she doesn’t feel equipped to handle certain tasks as she cares for her husband. “I think of people who are in a situation who don’t have that sort of experience and I don’t know how they manage,” she says. And yet, nearly half of the 42 million family caregivers in America perform medical and nursing tasks to care for their loved ones. This can be managing medications, cleaning wounds or feeding tubes, giving injections and more. Most do this all with little or no training.
Shirley MacLaine stars with Christopher Plummer in Elsa & Fred, the story of a lonely old man’s emotional reawakening — thanks, of course, to his unexpected romance with an impulsive, high-spirited woman.
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