Embracing Aging News

September 2017 
A Resource for the Unsung Heroes - Caregivers
By Cathy Bollinger, managing director of Embracing Aging, York County Community Foundation
 
There are 45 million family caregivers in the United States, 70% of whom are women. Nearly 18 million people care for a relative who is 65 or older.

These caregivers are unsung heroes. They often juggle schedules, appointments, and errands, while flooded with feelings of guilt, sadness, and even resentment. Their patience is strained as they help an older adult in the most personal of acts, like toileting. Burnout seems inevitable, yet pausing is not an option, as there is no one else to care for their family or friends. It’s their unconditional love that keeps them going.

A recent report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine noted that “the need to recognize and support caregivers is among the most significant challenges facing the nation’s swelling elderly population, their families and society.”

Caregivers have poorer health and defer health screenings. Six out of ten caregivers are in the workforce; employer health costs for caregivers is 8% higher than the rest of the workforce; and $34 billion is lost in productivity due to caregiving.

York County Community Foundation’s Embracing Aging understands the challenges of caregiving. That's why we agreed to join 50 experts from across the country from the health, aging, and caregiving field to be interviewed for a virtual summit co-founded by Anthony Cirillo and Dr. Douglas Fitzgerald of The Aging Experience. Embracing Aging’s session focuses on the impact of ageism on caregiving.

The five-day event, runs October 30 – November 3, just prior to National Family Caregiver’s Month and National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Participants can watch from the comfort of their home or office to learn practical knowledge to help make them a better caregiver, as well as prepare them for taking care of their own health and aging journey.

Anthony Cirillo co-founder of the summit shared, “This Summit is ideal for almost anyone. If you are just starting to see the signs that mom and dad need care, this is for you. If you are an experienced caregiver, this is for you as well. Even if your caregiving journey is over there is something you can learn about preparing for your own aging needs. That is why Boomers should consider attending the Summit. And even foresighted GenX’ers and Millennials, who make up 25% of family caregivers, can learn something, too.”

You can purchase an All Access pass or a pass for a specific day to the Summit NOW by using the following link:
www.caregiversummit.org/iDevAffiliate_9/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=129_1_3_3 At this link you’ll find the agenda of sessions per day, along with the list of presenters. Make certain to use this link to register and a portion of your registration fee will be used to benefit caregiving in York County, PA.

Embracing Aging is a long-term initiative that focuses on culture change and how people experience aging in York County. Its purpose is to make York County a great place to age by expanding understanding and caring about the needs and perspectives of older adults and reducing barriers to aging well. To learn more about York County Community Foundation and Embracing Aging, visit www.yccf.org. To learn more about York County aging data, visit http://www.yorkcounts.org/aging.