November is National Family Caregiver’s Month!

“National Family Caregivers Month is a time to reflect on the compassion and dedication that family caregivers embody every day…..I encourage all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends, and neighbors.”    –  President, Barack Obama

Every year, family caregivers provide $375-450 billion worth of uncompensated care for their loved ones.  Yes, you read right – Billion.  That’s almost twice as much as what is spent on formal home care and on nursing home services combined.

Consider the following:

  • Over 65 million caregivers (29% of the US adult population) provide care for someone who is an older adult, chronically ill or has a disability.
  • About 19%, or 43.5 million, provide care for someone over the age of 50.
  • Over 55% of caregivers are employed and more than 37% share households with children or grandchildren under the age of 18.
  • Roughly 66% of caregivers are female.
  • 34% care for two people.
  • While the average age of caregivers is 48, 51% of caregivers are between the ages of 18-49.
  • Of those providing care for someone 65 or older, the average age of caregivers is 63, and 1/3 of those are in poor health themselves.
  • For those caring for a parent, the total aggregate lost wages, pensions and social security benefits is nearly $3 trillion

The Housing Bureau for Seniors’ Housing & Caregiver Counseling program:

  • Assists caregivers and seniors who need assistance with decision-making around housing options and long-term care services to support aging in place.
  • Provides tools to evaluate the older adult’s functional, in-home supports and housing needs.
  • Prepares the caregiver with tools to evaluate and analyze housing options, long-term care options and financial resources.
  • Evaluates the older adults’ financial resources, housing and home safety and caregiving and social supports.
  • Identifies contributing factors that will impact how in-home supports and needed housing will be paid for and how they will be accessed.
  • Maintains information on senior-specific housing options in Washtenaw County.

If you are a caregiver and need assistance, please call us at 734-998-9339 or email housingbureauseniors@umich.edu.

Every year since 1997, Presidents have issued an annual proclamation.  Here are highlights from this year’s Presidential Proclamation:

Family members, friends, and neighbors devote countless hours to providing care to their relatives or loved ones.  During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize and thank the humble heroes who do so much to keep our families and communities strong.

Across America, daughters and sons balance the work of caring for aging parents with the demands of their careers and raising their own children. Spouses and partners become caregivers to the ones they love even as they navigate their own health challenges.

Mothers and fathers resume care for children returning home as wounded warriors. Friends and relatives form networks to support loved ones with disabilities. All of them give selflessly to bring comfort, social engagement, and stability to those they love.

Family caregivers have an immeasurable impact on the lives of those they assist, but their hours are long and their work is hard. Many put their own lives on hold to lift up someone close to them.

National Family Caregivers Month is a time to reflect on the compassion and dedication that family caregivers embody every day…..I encourage all Americans to pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends, and neighbors.

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Would You Know What to Do?

A few months ago my mom was visiting from out-of-state. She had been asking me for advice about a family member who was in a bit of crisis about their housing and finances when her phone rang. It was the family member we were talking about.

Mom put her phone speaker on, and I was able to counsel this relative about housing options, applying for early Social Security and encouraged them to act now (this relative had been indecisive for several years). Several months later, my mom informed me this relative had applied for Social Security and put in their application for a subsidized housing facility with a year+ long waiting list.

Most families don’t have a gerontologist in the family. But, seniors and their families living in Washtenaw County are fortunate. The Housing Bureau for Seniors (HBS) has an array of services to assist seniors to find and maintain appropriate living arrangements. For families in similar situations as we had, our Housing and Care Counseling program is for you.

Thanks to an Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation grant, family caregivers who live in or have an older family member living in Washtenaw County have a resource to support and enable them to make informed decisions regarding housing and long-term care needs.

Approximately 19% of the adult U.S. population (43.5 million) provides unpaid care for an adult family member or friend over the age of 50. Over 55% of these caregivers are employed and more than 37% share households with children or grandchildren under the age of 18.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of caregivers report needing more information or support with issues including:
• Long-term care needs (such as supportive housing and in-home supports);
• Keeping loved ones safe at home; and
• Choosing home care agencies.

The Housing Bureau for Seniors assists caregivers and seniors who need assistance with decision-making around housing options and long-term care services to support aging in place. Specifically, we:
• Provide tools to evaluate the older adult’s functional, in-home supports and housing needs;
• Prepare the caregiver with tools to evaluate and analyze housing options, long-term care options and financial resources;
• Evaluate the older adults’ financial resources, housing and home safety and caregiving and social supports;
• Identify contributing factors that will impact how in-home supports and needed housing will be paid for and how they will be accessed; and
• Determine if there are adequate financial resources and if there are private or public options to maximize resources.

If you’re a caregiver and have questions about an aging family member, give us a call! We can be reached at (734) 998-9339 or housingbureauseniors@umich.edu.