Tell Your Governor:
TELL THE WHITE HOUSE TO FOCUS ON CAREGIVER RELIEF
The White House hosts a conference on Aging every 10 years. The past conferences have had a major impact on the public health issues we face in how we care for the aging Americans.
We are facing a crisis in this country, as every sixty eight seconds a baby boomer is turning 65. For the first time in our history, the largest growing segment of our population is those that live 90 years and beyond.
There is a growing trend of seniors wanting to remain in their homes as they age. But seven out of ten aging seniors are going to require care at some point in their life.
Family caregivers provided the equivalent of $450 billion dollars worth of care to their adult parents and other loved ones in 2009, an amount that makes caregivers one of the largest and most overlooked pillars of the U.S. health care system, according to a new report by the AARP Public Policy Institute, "Valuing the Invaluable: The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving, 2011 Update." This is up from an estimated $375 billion in 2007.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
➢ Unpaid caregivers provide an estimated 90% of the long-term care (IOM, 2008).
➢ The majority (83%) are family caregivers—unpaid persons such as family members, friends, and neighbors of all ages who are providing care for a relative (FCA, 2005).
➢ The typical caregiver is a 46 year old woman with some college experience who provides more than 20 hours of care each week to her mother (NAC, 2004).
➢ The out-of-pocket costs for caregivers who are caring for someone who was age 50 or older averaged $5,531 in 2007.
➢ About 37% of caregivers for someone age 50 and older reduced their work hours or quit their job in 2007 (AARP, 2008).
➢ Caregivers report having difficulty finding personal time for themselves (35%), managing emotional and physical stress (29%), and balancing work and family responsibilities (29%) (NAC, 2004).
➢ About 73% of surveyed caregivers said praying helps them cope with caregiving stress, 61% said that they talk with or seek advice from friends or relatives, and 44% read about caregiving in books or other materials (NAC, 2004).
➢ About 30% said they need help keeping the person they care for safe and 27% would like to find easy activities to do with the person they care for (NAC, 2004).
➢ Half (53%) of caregivers who said their health had become worse due to caregiving also said the decline in their health has affected their ability to provide care (NAC, 2006).
➢ Caregivers said they do not go to the doctor because they put their family’s needs first (67% said that is a major reason), or they put the care recipient’s needs over their own (57%).
➢ More than half (51%) said they do not have time to take care of themselves and almost half (49%) said they are too tired to do so (NAC, 2004).
With the growing aging population, there is a crisis occurring in this country.
The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is a huge opportunity to shape conversations on how we care for aging Americans for the next decade, and we can’t start planning soon enough.
Over the next few months, the White House and other organizations will start putting together their plans. And if we don’t move quickly, family caregivers and their needs could be pushed off the table—for a decade or more.
State leaders will have a pivotal role in setting the agenda for this conference. A letter from your governor to the White House will have a profound impact.
WHEN YOU SIGN, WE’LL ADD YOUR NAME TO THE LETTER BELOW AND DELIVER IT TO YOUR GOVERNOR:
In 2015, the White House will host its decennial Conference on Aging. Since 1961, these conferences have brought together experts and policy-makers to confront the challenges of caring for our aging population, with great success—achievements like Medicare, nutrition programs in the Older Americans Act and the National Institute on Aging have come out of these conferences.
Today, the elder boom presents a host of new challenges. Every eight seconds, another baby boomer turns 65 years old. Throughout the course of their lives, seven out of ten people over the age of 65 will need care, for an average of three years each. For the first time in our history, the largest growing segment of the population is those living to 90 years old and beyond.
The family caregiver presently provides the equivalent of $450 billion dollars worth of care to their aging parents according to 2009 statistics. These individuals providing this care are the largest overlooked group in the US health care system, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute.
The family caregiver is facing tremendous challenges at great expense to their personal health and well-being.
State leaders like you will have a large role in shaping the agenda for the White House Conference on Aging. Your input can ensure that the family caregiver and caregiver relief is a key topic of consideration during the conference.
We urge you to send a letter to the White House and ask them to make caregiver relief, and helping the family caregiver to be able to care for their family member in the home with dignity and support, the focal point of the 2015 Conference on Aging.
This petition closed 11 months ago
The unpaid family caregiver is the pillar of long-term care in the US. In this country alone, 42 million family caregivers provide care to an adult with limitations. Their contribution is...
The unpaid family caregiver is the pillar of long-term care in the US. In this country alone, 42 million family caregivers provide care to an adult with limitations. Their contribution is estimated to have an economic value of $450 Billion dollars. This comes at a substantial cost to the caregivers themselves.
These numbers are sure to grow, as we are living longer. The fastest growing segment of the American population is those living to 90 years and beyond. We can expect to see more adult children in their 60s and 70s, many with their own chronic medical conditions, providing care for a parent who is 90 years or older.
Today's family caregiver provides services that were once provided in a health care setting. These family caregivers are the "hidden" patients that need support and care for themselves.