Today I am writing to ask for your input. I am working on an article about caregiver support, and I would be so appreciative if you would let me know what’s working for you and what services, programs and resources are lacking.
Do you attend support group meetings? Have you contacted any government agencies such as your local Area Agency on Aging or Department of Human Services? Are you using respite care? Is your doctor providing any assistance or advice about caring for yourself while caring for your loved one? Is there a network, an association or an organization that you turn to when you need support? What websites do you turn to for advice, resources and support?
Until a few years ago, no one seemed to be very interested in caregivers. However, once the government figured out that there are currently 65.7 million Americans (29% of the adult population in the U.S.) who are providing care for someone who is ill, disabled, or aged, people started to pay attention. In 2009 the economic impact of unpaid caregivers was estimated to be $450 Billion. That number will grow exponentially as baby boomers age.
Interest in caregiver support is growing, and I want to contribute to the conversation by letting policy makers, educators, nonprofit organizations and corporations know what you need and want. I have some ideas and opinions, but I want to hear from you. If you will let me know what you think, what you need and what you want, it will help me go forward with a collective voice that could be compelling enough to turn my article into an action plan that could actually affect change.
So today, if you can find the time and energy, please let me know your thoughts on this topic. I will sincerely appreciate your opinions and input.