Aging Matters | Caregiving

The existence and impact of informal caregiving is often overlooked in the United States, but it will become more important, relevant and necessary as people live longer and Baby Boomers grow old. It will create strain on the long-term care and healthcare system. 

What is needed to address this issue and soften the impact? NPT Reports: Aging Matters: Caregiving focuses on the issues surrounding informal caregiving, including a fragmented formal system for dealing with long-term care, the effects of caregiving on the health and income of family and friends, and what to expect -- and how to plan -- for the next “Boom” in an aging population. 

The Experts

Aging Matters: Caregiving Panel Discussion

As you can learn from our documentary, almost anyone can become a caregiver for an older adult. Every situation is different and so are the methods and resources used to plan for and provide longterm services. But there are some common barriers faced by elder caregivers, especially those who are new to the role whether it's been a gradual development or due to an acute medical crisis. We brought together a group of professional who work with family caregivers to discuss strategies and pitfalls for longterm elder care.

The Panel

Statistics Explained

 

43-and –a-half million adults in the U.S. provide unpaid care to someone over age 50.  Seven out of 10 are women, putting in about 20 hours a week of elder-care. 
SOURCE: National Alliance for Caregiving /  "Caregiving in the U.S."  [pdf]
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A private room in an assisted living facility averages $3,400 per month.   A similar room in a nursing home averages $6,000 per month. And in Tennessee, costs are increasing faster than national levels, according to a recent study by Genworth Financial.
SOURCE: Genworth Financial / "2014 Cost of Care Survey"  [link]
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Fewer than 10% of Americans are saving and planning specifically for long-term care, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But, at least 70% of people over 65 will need long-term care services and support at some point.
SOURCE: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation / "Long-Term Care: What are the Issues?"  [link]
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Tennessee ranks 48th  when it comes to longterm services and support, according to a nationwide scorecard by AARP. The state's northern neighbor, Kentucky, is at the bottom.
SOURCE:   AARP Public Policy Institute, The SCAN Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund / "Raising Expectations, 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers"  [link]
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Rates of stress, anxiety and depression are much higher for caregivers than national averages.
SOURCE: The American Psychological Association  / "Stress in America" Survey  [link]
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Their financial health also suffers—with caregivers spending more than $5,500 a year out-of-pocket, often dipping into their own savings.
SOURCE:AARP Public Policy Institute  /  "Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update - The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving" 
[link]
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90% of adults over age 65 say they want to stay in their residence as long as possible, according to AARP. 
SOURCE: AARP Public Policy Institute  [link]

 

Additional Resources

"The Scope and Effects of Informal Caregiving" MacArthur Foundation / Network on Aging Society 
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Tennessee OPTIONS for Community Living Program
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Changing Aging with Dr. Bill Thomas
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The "40-70 Rule®"
Based on research by Home Instead Senior Care that shows that "Talking sooner is better than waiting until a crisis has occurred. This advice is designed to help adult children and their aging parents deal with those sensitive topics that often make conversations difficult. The idea is that if you're 40, or your parents are 70, it's time to start talking - at least about certain senior topics."