Thursday, July 14, 2016

Family Caregiving Bridges Political Divides - AARP

by Nancy A. LeaMond 
Originally published: July 12, 2016
Publisher: AARP.org

Through my years of experience advocating in Washington, D.C. and across the country, family caregiving has been one of the more unique issues I’ve worked on. First and foremost, family caregiving touches almost all Americans: we are either caregivers now, have been in the past, will be in the future—or will need care ourselves. Family caregiving is also a special issue because it bridges political divides and cuts through partisan politics; family caregiving is not a Democratic or Republican issue—it’s a family issue.

Today more than 40 million Americans care for older parents, spouses, children with disabilities and other loved ones so they can live independently in their homes and communities for as long as possible. This unpaid assistance they provide exceeds $470 billion annually.

As my two millennial sons and I care for my husband, their father, who has ALS, I know that I have much in common with my fellow caregivers. Yet, I also know my experience is unique in many ways. Indeed, each of our caregiving experiences are individual, seen through our own personal family lens.