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A caregiving star p. 7 | A day in the life of family caregiver Susie Morrell.
Welcome aboard! p. 16 | West Health’s Amy Herr joins the ASA Board of Directors.
Covering advances in research, practice and policy nationwide www.asaging.org
MARCH–APRIL 2020 volume xli number 2
the bimonthly newspaper of the American Society on Aging t i t l f t i i t i
I see caregivers … when will I see policymakers?
In this issue
FORUM The eldercare industrial complex; and boomers must step up! page 3 AARP THOUGHT LEADERSHIP The economic potential of aging populations page 5 IN FOCUS On caregiving: personal impacts, promising policies pages 7–11 Innovation in California promotes pathways out of nursing home life page 12 The “elderly” prisoner: incarceration and old age page 13
By Donna Benton
M y lens for viewing filmand tele- vision shifted in 2004 while watching an episode of “Sex and the City” in which Miranda sits on the edge of a tub, bathing her mother-in- law, Mary. Mary had suffered a stroke, had memory loss and could no longer live independently. Miranda, who has a young son, a husband, a job and a new home, is now a family caregiver to an older adult. Usually, I would have ignored this sto- ryline because that is not why I—or any- one else—watched “Sex and the City.” However, from that day on, like the boy from “The Sixth Sense,” I see a prolifera- tion of special beings—not “dead people,” but very-much-alive family caregivers. And soon, so will everyone else. According to a joint national survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP ( tinyurl.com/ yat3378n ), about 34.2 million Americans are providing unpaid care to adults ages
50 or older, which makes up almost 10 percent of the U.S. population. In the United States, some family caregivers are more visible than others. These caregiv- ers are called parents. As of 2016, there were 73.6 million people younger than age 18, compared to 49.2 million people older than age 65. However, in as few as 14 years, there will be a significantly greater number of older
But before discussing the future visible caregivers and needed public policy to ad- dress the population, I will review why caregiving for adults has not been a signif- icant focus for public policy. Why Are Family Caregivers Invisible? An article by Lynn Friss Feinberg and Carol Levine ( tinyurl.com/yx2c4jlj ) high- lighted two significant trends that influ- enced changes in caregiving in the past 60 years. The authors argue that the shift in people living longer with chronic illness- es has fundamentally changed the nature of caregiving and the tasks family care- givers face.
Parents are more visible than other caregivers.
adults than children (77.0 versus 76 mil- lion) ( tinyurl.com/yywwdfwc ). Of course, not everyone older than age 65 will need a caregiver. Still, even if the need for family caregivers to older adults remains static, by 2040 people will be spending more time in eldercare than they do in childcare.
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Applause, please! ASA announces its 2020 award winners A SA annually recognizes deserv- ing individuals for their leader- ship and contributions to ASA and to the field of aging via its leadership awards program, which includes the ASA Hall of Fame Award, the ASA Award, the Gloria Cavanaugh Award for Excellence in Training and Education, the Mental Health and Aging Award, the Award for Excellence inMulticultural Aging and the Graduate Student Research Award. The 2020 winners, listed below, will receive their awards during the opening General Session at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, at the 2020 Aging in America Conference, and will be profiled in future issues of Aging Today . The ASA Award is presented to an in- dividual who has made outstanding con- tributions to aging-related research, administration or advocacy. The 2020 ASA Award goes to Louis Colbert , who has spent four decades as a leader and mentor in the aging network, including serving a term as Chair of the ASA Board of Directors. Colbert is currently Vice President of Operations for the Philadel-
phia Corporation on Aging (PCA), and served previously (from 2001–13) as Di- rector of the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging. At PCA, which is the nation’s fourth largest area agency on aging, Colbert ad- ministers more than 70 percent of PCA’s workforce and budget and is lauded for his record in change management, pro- cess improvement, consumer and provid- er relations and fiscal and program compliance. At Delaware County, he over- saw multi-million dollar budgets allocat- ed from federal and state offices. Colbert, influenced by his personal role as a co-caregiver (with his siblings) for his
Aisha Adkins with her mother.
Hope’s Heroes: real-life stories from Millennial caregivers T his past New Year’s Day, The SCAN Foundation honored family caregivers with a float in the 2020 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., called “Hope’s Heroes: Honoring Caregivers of All Generations.” Central to the float were a castle and two knights. Eight caregivers rode on the float, ranging in age from 14 to
88, and embodying the span of caregiving situations. By participating and building the float, The SCAN Foundation aimed to draw particular positive attention to the Mil- lennial generation of caregivers. As The SCAN Foundation President and CEO Dr. Bruce Chernof has said, “Millennials of- ten get tagged as that ‘selfie generation’— very focused on getting their own needs met. That simply is not true. … they play a much bigger role caregiving in the lives of older adults than probably any generation
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