Last fall Jane Gross, journalist and author of A Bittersweet Season, spoke about her experiences supporting and caring for her elderly mother. The presentation at Brethren Village, a retirement community in Lancaster, PA, shares observations, experiences, things she wishes she had done, and much more.
Check out the Washington Post article, Caregiving is Especially Complicated When the Patient is Your Spouse, an article originally published in the January 14, 2013 online edition.
Written for the Consumer’s Union but appearing in the Post, the piece describes a book, The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook, by Diana Denholm, a licensed professional therapist who provided extensive care to her husband. Below are the topics that appeared in the article, but the book is far more comprehensive. The reviews on the Amazon website characterize the book as useful for any person who is providing care to a family member.
Topics in the Article
- How does caring for a spouse differ for caring for a parent?
- What’s the most important advice you offer to caregivers?
- What are other pitfalls to know about?
- When should a caregiver seek outside assistance?
Michael Lindenmayer interviews former First Lady Rosalyn Carter in a January 17, 2013 piece at Forbes. Mrs. Carter speaks about family caregivers in the United States, noting the important role this group plays in the United States health care system. Family caregivers, she points out, provide much of the daily life support to family members with significant chronic illnesses as well as aging parents.
The Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving, founded by Mrs. Carter, “… is the only national institute to integrate both professional and family caregiver issues in research, education and advocacy agenda.” It’s mission is to educate the public about the critical role that caregivers, and especially family member caregivers play in our nation’s long term health care system, identify the risks associated with serving in that role, and create ways to help and support people who are working as caregivers.
Family caregivers represent one of this nation’s most significant yet underappreciated assets in our health delivery system. They are the backbone of our country’s long term, home-based, and community-based care system. The approximately 65 million family caregivers in the United States provide $450 billion worth of unpaid services each year.
The Chicago Tribune has a story today (Valentine’s Day, 2012) about men who are caring for family members. In The Increasing Male Face of Caregiving Doug Wyman, who is semi-retired from a career in sales and marketing, explains how he assists his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease. The couple has been married for 63 years.
Written by Chicago Tribune reporter Vikki Ortiz Healy the article describes the changing face of caregiving, and some of the reasons why more men are assuming the role more now than they used to in the past
A short, and compelling video, featuring the Wymans, leads off the article, but a brief advertisement runs before the real content begins.
Most Interesting Quote
In the last 15 years, the number of men caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia has more than doubled, from 19 to 40 percent, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The trend corresponds to the higher number of women over the age of 65 in the U.S. with the disease — 3.4 million, compared with 1.8 million men. Those demographics have changed the tone of local support group meetings by adding a chorus of male perspectives
Other Resources to Read About Men and Caregiving
A Quick Review of Eldercare Resource Locator
The Eldercare locater link at the bottom of the Medicare Caregiver home page connects to a page where users can search for a broad range of eldercare resources or for connections and contact information for local community organizations. Users can search by zip code or city or for information on a specific caregiving topic. The graphics below can help users focus and navigate to the Eldercare resource page.
To discover Medicare and caregiving resources, check out the redesigned caregiving website, debuting Tuesday, April 12, 2011. It’s user-friendly and graphically interesting with a focus on easy information access. At the same time updated site promotes learning, sharing, supporting, and collaborating. Adult children, even if they are not providing a huge amount of caregiving support, would be wise to explore the site and then take their senior parents on a Medicare caregiving resource tour.
Ease of use was a mission focus for website developers, and seniors and their families can gain access to all resources with only a few mouse clicks (one of the most important characteristics of good web design). Thus all of the sections are easily accessible, even for a person with modest web browsing skills. Think of the redesigned Medicare caregiver site as a GPS tool, one that quickly leads caregiver families to problem solving information.
The home page of caregiving Medicare site (http://www.medicaregov/caregiver) is eye-catching, engaging, and welcoming to new users. It’s easy to distinguish one section from another and navigate among them. A click can enlarge the print. Links to all of the important caregiving topics are available on this page. Continue reading