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Thank You to Our Featured Expert:
Bob Stephen | Vice President of Caregiving and Health Programs, AARP
Thank You to Our Forum Host:
Jesse Gaskin | Design Lead for patient experience at Kaiser Permanente and Board Member of At Home With Growing Older
Caregiving is a core life skill that tends to be neglected until it’s too late. This season’s opening episode of At Home, On Air will feature Bob Stephen, AARP’s VP Caregiving and Health. We’ll hear about his own experience with family caregiving as well as the challenges and opportunities across the arc of a caregiver’s journey, navigating the path from independence to dependence. Our conversation will highlight the drivers behind the increasing need for caregiving, the effects of the pandemic on caregiver activities, and the balance between technological and social solutions. We’ll also discuss ways family caregivers can prepare for the journey before needs arise.
About Our Featured Expert:
Bob Stephen is AARP’s Vice President, Caregiving and Health Programs and serves as AARP’s lead for family caregiving. In these roles, he leads the strategy and execution of AARP’s enterprise-wide efforts to help 50 plus Americans live independently at home and in the community, while supporting the 48 million family caregivers who so often make this possible.
Prior to joining AARP in 2010, Bob spent over two decades in strategy development and management consulting where he worked with rural communities and healthcare organizations. He has a BA from the University of Iowa and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Quotes from the Conversation:
About the weight family caregivers carry in the US:
“….we don’t really have a system of long term care in our country. For as long as we know, for decades, you go back hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s been the family who provides most of the long term care particularly as people age. According to one estimate that is couple of years old, there are 48 million people in the United States who are caring for someone who is over the age of 18…… 66,000 people on average per day become a family caregiver. 48 million family caregivers are providing 34 billion hours of care per year which would be about $470 billion per year if provided by professional caregivers. (source: AARP)”
About people not planning ahead for caregiving:
“In an ideal world, we would actually probably talk about this in high school and prepare people for what’s going to be coming you know, this is a life skill that you need and really get it out into the open. But what we’re finding is that really folks aren’t doing that.”
About where to find advice and resources:
“One of the key pieces, we found that from a planning standpoint, particularly for those that are maybe thrust into the things, is to talk to other family caregivers.”
About technology and caregiving:
“And it’s important that you use that technology in a way that is going to work for you in your process. ….It really should fit into your flow and it should fit into the needs of the people who are using it.”
About the superb employability of family caregivers:
“They’re fantastic project managers with empathy skills. It’s not just AARP, but there are organizations that are working on the idea of returnships. Helping people return back to work and getting employers to understand and actually publicly recognize that a family caregiver is going to be a really good employee.“
The original, live conversation was recorded on: Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 5:00 PM PST.