Lily Casura—Huffington Post Blog, November 27, 2013
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and it’s also Military Family Appreciation Month. There is some important overlap between the two, as we shall soon see. Focused on honoring our veterans on Veterans Day, earlier this month, we may not even have noticed the unsung heroes and heroines standing directly behind so many of them, just out of view — the caregiver partners of the severely injured. Many are women, some are men and some are even veterans themselves. And of course many are parents. The Rand Corporation estimates that between 275,000 and one million men and women have served as caregivers for “wounded, ill or injured service members” from Iraq and Afghanistan alone and suggest that the actual number may be much higher. When you add in veterans from other wars, such as Vietnam, those numbers climb some more. Read more
Lynn Feinberg—AARP Blog, December 9, 2013
Family caregivers wear many hats. They help their loved ones cope with the bewildering complexity and fragmentation of the long-term services and supports (LTSS) system. They often provide daily care, such as help with bathing or dressing, providing transportation to medical appointments, handling bills, preparing special diets, or managing multiple complex medications. They often do these tasks on top of other work and family responsibilities. But who is listening to them? How are they coping? It is time to think differently about assessing and addressing the needs of family caregivers. Only by doing so can we begin to develop a system that considers the individual in the context of the family and friends who provide care, and supports well-being for older people and their families. Such an approach often is called person- and family-centered care planning. Read more
Gary Drevitch—Forbes, December 2, 2013
When a mother has a heart attack, a father takes a fall or dementia leaves a family member unable to care for herself, a full-time worker often becomes a full-time caregiver. In the stress of the moment and the rush to help, the unprepared can sacrifice careers to aid their families. But they don’t have to. That’s a core message of Juggling Work and Caregiving, a free new e-book from AARP aging and families expert Amy Goyer. Read more
by Joe Lawrence | November 25, 2013 | AFSCME Blog
Home care attendant Julia May of St. Joseph.
It was a great day, five years in the making, when home care attendants met with the State of Missouri for their first-ever contract negotiation session.
The Missouri Home Care Union bargaining team on Tuesday, Nov. 19, went over a range of issues with the state. The first day dealt with non-economic issues such as representation rights, a voice in policies and procedures, adequate training and resolving late-payment issues. Economic issues will be addressed in later sessions. The next bargaining date is scheduled for Dec. 10.
“We’re making it clear to the state that we’re united and committed to make home care better for attendants and the people we help, our consumers,” said Julia May of St. Joseph. “I can tell we’re making a difference.”
The negotiations are a result of the Quality Home Care Act, which Missouri voters overwhelmingly passed in 2008. The law opens the door to improvements in the Medicaid-funded program and allows the state’s 13,000 attendants to have a voice in their work. The Missouri Home Care Union, a partnership of AFSCME and SEIU, posted two resounding election victories and turned back right-wing legal attacks on its way to this month’s historic negotiations.
Paula Span—New York Times, November 21, 2013
Trying to hold onto a job while caring for a family member is a tough juggling act. Caregivers sometimes have to arrive late or leave early, cut back to part-time work, and decline travel or promotions. For women, these competing responsibilities may prove particularly perilous, a study recently published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology suggests. Women who are caregivers are also significantly less likely to be in the labor force, compared to women who are not caregivers. Yet for men, caregiving has no impact on employment status. Read more