Caring for Aging Parents Presents Unique Challenges
USA Today this week published a series of articles on issues related to elder care as part of a five-day series. Headlines and summaries for articles from Tuesday through Friday appear below.
- "Juggling Work, Care for Aging Parent: Some Companies Help Their Workers": As the "ranks of employed caregivers swell, a small but growing number of employers are beginning to establish novel programs to provide help and scheduling flexibility," such as access to elder care referral services, emergency elder care help and subsidies for the cost of elder care, USA Today reports (Armour, USA Today, 6/26).
- "Caregivers Cope With Stress, Mixed Emotions About Aging Parents": Elder caregivers "struggle with a range of emotions," including ambivalence, anger, resentment and "plenty of guilt," according to experts, USA Today reports (Jayson, USA Today, 6/26).
- "Navigating Sibling Relationships When Caring for a Parent Can Be Difficult": as part of a five-day series on elder care on Wednesday examined siblings who care for their elderly parents. Although "deep pain and bitter disappointment" can result when siblings disagree about care for their elderly parents, when "siblings join together, the most wrenching decisions and heaviest tasks are somehow lightened by mutual effort and goodwill," USA Today reports. According to a recent USA Today/ABC News/Gallup poll, among baby boomers who said that they provide care or financial assistance for elderly parents or stepparents, 10% said that they have experienced a large amount of stress among siblings, and 20% said that they have experienced at least some stress among siblings (Grossman , USA Today, 6/27). In related news, USA Today on Wednesday offered "pragmatic advice on how to face the challenges and still be friends" (Grossman , USA Today, 6/27).
- "Caregivers Struggle With Denial, Disintegration": Alzheimer's disease "often forces caregivers to step in and make decisions for a relative who's showing signs of impairment," but such action can cause caregivers "who don't get any relief" to develop anxiety and depression, as well as physical illnesses, USA Today reports (Fackelmann, USA Today, 6/28).
- "Long-Term Care Insurance May Not Be for Everyone": "For millions, long-term care insurance ... is a savior," but, "for other people, delays, premium increases and denials of payment make the enormous investment" in such coverage "all but worthless," USA Today reports (Waggoner , USA Today, 6/28). In related news, USA Today on Thursday offered advice on the selection of long-term care insurance policies (Waggoner , USA Today, 6/28).
- "Prepare Yourself Now To Help Care for Parents Later": Adult children who currently do not care for an elderly parent should "consider some specific actions now to prepare" financially in the event that they have to care for an elderly parent in the future, USA Today reports (Fetterman, USA Today, 6/29).
- "Investing: Order's Important When Tapping Into Assets": "How to make ... assets last as long as possible" is a "particularly urgent question" when adult children use the assets of an elderly parent "to help pay for their care," USA Today reports (Waggoner, USA Today, 6/29).
ABC News on Monday included two reports in conjunction with the USA Today series.
ABC's "World News" reported on unconventional nursing homes that offer more personalized care and independence for residents. The segment includes comments from Richard Gamache of Elmhurst Extended Care in Providence, R.I., and nursing home residents (Harris, "World News," ABC, 6/25).
Video of the segment and expanded ABC News coverage are available online.
In addition, ABC's "Nightline" profiled Ray Payton, a Virginia woman who cares for her grandparents and was featured on Monday in USA Today. The segment includes comments from Payton ("Nightline," ABC, 6/25).
An excerpt of the segment is available online. Expanded ABC News coverage, as well as a webcast with comments from Payton, is available online.