In 2013? I would like to not wait a decade for caregiver support

November 29, 2012

If I could do anything in 2013…

2013-calendar-300x300Anything…

How big can we dream here? Because I have quite a few radical suggestions for the upcoming new year, particularly regarding my main cause: caregiver support. I don’t want the caregiver crisis to hit an unarmed, unaware population and I grow impatient with the rate information is disseminated. Granted, it’s progress: Since May 2012, I have watched AARP, the Huffington Post, the New York Times and Forbes substantially increase their caregiving related content. No doubt many readers were made aware of the impending crisis and the needs of caregivers. But still… I hear, in the stories of my friends and of my friends’ parents, that caregiving has already touched their lives and they are unaware of the support available.

In today’s TedMed discussion on the caregiver crisis, Alan Blaustein predicted that full support for caregivers “will take a decade.” The other caregiving expert panelists echoed his projection. But 10 years isn’t soon enough. Gail Zahtz (@GailZahtz) responds: “In a decade, we will have 70 million more people over the age of 65. A bit late…” With family and friends as the sole caregivers for 70 percent of the elderly, that’s 49,000,000 more caregivers…

For 2013? I want to work my hardest to bring about some serious caregiver support now. With our new site just days from launching, I feel very grateful that users will find relief through interaction with their caregiving peers. I want to encourage caregivers to write, write, write. Not only will a caregiver’s story help a fellow caregiver– it might enlighten a previously unaware person of the role’s demands.

If we mobilize ourselves as advocates for caregiver support and rights, we won’t have to wait ten years. I want to see caregivers all over the 2016 presidential campaign.

2013? Write more, say more… Let’s get started now.

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