Video Chat: How Do We Help Family Caregivers?


Video Chat: How Do We Help Family Caregivers?

200px-Camera-video.svgAccording to The National Alliance for Caregiving, in the U.S., 65.7 million caregivers--29% of the U.S. adult population--provide care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged. We're also a population living with chronic illnesses; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 133 million Americans–almost 1 out of every 2 adults–had at least one chronic illness in 2005. And, as a population, we're getting heavier: 31% of adults are obese and 15% of children and teenagers age 6-19 are overweight. Obesity can lead to heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

As we age and as we live with chronic illness, we rely on help from our family members. These family caregivers will soon care for more than one family member. According to Cali Yost, and her recent blog post, The ElderCare Cliff. It’s Coming Are You Ready?, in 2050, or 38 years from now, there will only be 2.9 people ages 16-64 years old to provide unpaid care for every person 65 and over AND to work to pay taxes to support public programs for the aging.

How do we support these family caregivers, who play such a critical role in the lives of the families and in the health care system? The following panelists join me for our discussion, which you can watch below:

--Will Dobbs is social media content creator, blogger, and digital disruptive marketing specialist at La Posada Continuing Care Retirement Community, Arizona’s First Accredited CCRC, Green Valley, Ariz. Follow La Posada on Twitter: @LaPosadaGVAZ.

--Janice Lynch Schuster is a senior writer for Altarum Institute, where she works on projects for the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, whose aim is to "make it safe to grow old." The Center's work focuses on improving care for frail elders, work that must include improving the experiences of family caregivers. Lynch Schuster is a co-author of "Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness," which received the 2012 Book Award from the American Medical Writers Association. Her articles and essays appear frequently in The Washington Post and occasionally in The New York Times. You can read her poetry at

--Michelle Seitzer is a writer, editor and elder care specialist who currently lives in York, Pa. Michelle worked for several assisted living and retirement communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland, along with the Alzheimer's Association's Pennsylvania Chapters, before becoming a full time freelancer. She was also a long-distance caregiver for her grandfather, who died of Alzheimer's in 2009.


--To read more about Janice's idea to form a Caregiver Corp., go here.

--To read more about my idea for a Community Caregiving Squad, go here.

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