Infrastructure Is Needed to Support Familial Caregivers

Infrastructure Is Needed to Support Familial Caregivers
On Tuesday, the American people will elect the president of the United States, and unless you can see into the future, it’s impossible to know for sure who that will be. We can narrow it down to one of two, but even polls can’t predict who will emerge to serve from the Oval Office for the next four years. What we do know about the future of the U.S. is that the candidate’s constituents are aging, and issues and challenges surrounding an aged population continue to expand.

What future candidates need to know

Currently, there are more middle-aged Americans than younger ones, and by 2034, the population of seniors 65 and older will reach 77 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. One issue that political candidates always seem to address is Medicare. Somehow, candidates and voters are able to connect the dots in this one instance regarding an aging population. However, other issues will affect the quality of life for seniors now and into the future. We should be talking about those matters, too. The subject of caregiving is one of them. In 2017, 41 million familial caregivers provided an average of 34 billion hours of care for loved ones, according to a 2019 report by the AARP Public Policy Institute. This translates to nearly $470 billion dollars that the government would possibly shell out were it not for the contribution of family caregivers. What we need to remember is that caregivers are also aging. Who will care for those masses when the time arrives?

More than Medicar
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6 comments

  1. ANDREW HOOPER says:

    Sadly, as with Covid-19, the voices of leading public health experts regarding neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s are unlikely to be heard over the megaphones of, in this case, meat and dairy lobbyists, but the coming tsunami of increasing medicare costs could be greatly ameliorated by a communications & public education “moonshot” regarding diet as a very effective preventative tool for the majority of our citizens, which matters tremendously when it comes to managing healthcare budgets and taxes long term.

    • Ray Burow says:

      Andrew,

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and to comment. It is a difficult topic and as I mentioned within the content of the article, smarter people than I am are contemplating these issues. I hope the right persons will be chosen to make correct decisions that will result in positive outcomes, coming to the aid of caregivers and their loved ones who suffer with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

      I appreciate your input.
      Best!

      Ray

  2. Mike Washo says:

    This is the number one thing you should be focused. If care was at leased tax deductible it would probably make both the caregivers life and the ALZ. Suffers life more balanced. Research is needed to find a cure but relief is needed now for those who are giving care now.

    • Ray Burow says:

      Hi Mike!

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, we need a cure and trust that one is in the works, perhaps not in the immediate future, but thankfully, progress is being made. I agree. Caregivers need assistance right now. More is available than we think. Not perfect solutions, but it’s a matter of finding the right resources in your community that can help. The local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association may be of service, regarding what’s available in your area. Also, the national Alzheimer’s Association helpline is open to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The number is: 800-272-3900.
      Thanks again for your input and for being a member of our community.

      Best!
      Ray

  3. LYNN HACKSTAFF says:

    Why do we celebrate providing infant-level care to an adult like my husband with two doctoral degrees, now reduced to speaking half-sentences, and stands in the bedroom in a diaper ranting about his lost car?! He would not want this and it is in humane.

    • Ray Burow says:

      Dear Ms. Hackstaff,

      I am very sorry that this is your reality and that of your dear husband’s. I wish you much comfort through the difficulties that accompany the disease.

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