It’s National Family Caregivers Month. 75% of caregivers also work full-time. This November 4th Clubhouse session generated a great discussion and list of service companies, community-based orgs, start-ups and more.
The Rethinking Aging Club has been pleased to host topics related to products and services for older adults weekly Thursdays at noon Eastern time since June 3rd. This continuing Clubhouse room called “Products for 50 plus” was initiated by Michael Phillips (AARP), Rick Robinson (AARP Innovation Labs) and Steve Ewell (Consumer Technology Association Foundation / CES) earlier in 2021. We have rotating co-moderators depending on our topic. This week the room was organized and led by Debbie Howard (Aging Matters International) who did a very good job bringing in the excellent speakers we enjoyed. Thank you also to Christina Keys (Caregiving.com / Loving Them Forward).
Please note that on November 22nd, Debbie Howard and Christina Keys will launch a weekly Monday 4pm ET show, also under the Rethinking Aging Club, called Shifting the Culture of Caregiving. The focus will be on Resources, Community (with an advocacy bent as well), and workplace support.
Otter AI Audio with Full Transcript
This one hour room was recorded with Otter.ai. You can listen to the audio and, if you wish follow along with the full transcript here: Resources for Working Caregivers in the Rethinking Aging Club Nov 4. I have found Otter.ai to be a great tool and am pleased at the additional accessibility it provides.
Caregiver Resource List
We are providing here a downloadable Caregiver Resource List contributed to by speakers and collected by Debbie Howard for this Clubhouse room.
As you can see in the image of the room, we had a pinned link of Debbie Howard’s LinkedIn promotion for the room which includes updated multiple resources in it and also has multiple comments from participants.
Debbie also did a follow-up post, pinging all the speakers.
Debbie Howard 5:20
I am Debbie Howard. as Linda mentioned, we know each other from Japan from way back in the mid 80s. And I’m a market researcher but I’m also a caregiving advocate and I’m loving these clubhouse rooms where we can spread our messages and get more dialogue going on all things caregiver related. So today, what we’re going to be doing everyone in this room I know knows about the problem. So we’re not going to go over the problem. The details but obviously we have 53 million caregivers and 75% of those work full time. So today, in honor of November, being national family caregivers month we’ll be focusing on resources for working caregivers and naturally there’s an overlap between what helps non working caregivers and working caregivers. There’s quite a bit of overlap. But we’re just going to be looking at that whole world of resources for for caregivers today. I am co moderating today with Christina Keyes and I’m going to ask Christina to introduce herself. Now. Christina is an expert community builder and she’s the director of community growth for caregiving comm among other hats that she wears Christina would you like to briefly introduce yourself?
Christina Keys 6:55
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Debbie. Yes, my name is Christina Keyes, and I am the director of community growth with Caregiving.com. I also am the founder, president of a hyperlocal nonprofit in Vancouver, Washington called Loving Them Forward, which offers resources education, training and support for caregivers as well as caregiver appreciation events.
Michael Phillips 9:51
I see a lot of new faces here and we’ve been we’ve been meeting here on clubhouse for most of 2021 on Thursdays during this time slot, talking about all kinds of all kinds of issues. And topics around products for 50 Plus, my focus is mainly on tech products and older adults and digital inclusion. And we’ve had some fantastic conversations about that more related to that the caregiving dilemmas always pop up and whatever we’re talking about this in this clubhouse room so really cool that we’re really focused on caregivers and especially the working caregivers and how we can provide solutions and overcome barriers for them. Not my main focus, but that’s awesome today to have my amazing colleagues that are very knowledgeable in this subject here with us. So I’m sure we’ll hear from Reema later. Reema heads up all of our strategic partnerships in this space, and has just a wealth of knowledge. And another colleague of mine, Laura is with us today. And I haven’t spoken to Laura about the research but I’ve read the research and I hope that all of you have read the research on working caregivers that Debbie links to this fantastic work. So Laura, do you mind sharing some thoughts on the research and what you felt like were the most important findings from that and anything else that your team is doing in this space and we of course we’d love to hear your personal views as well. This is, you know, a space where we can talk personally and we can talk from some of the work that we’re doing at AARP.
Laura Skufca 11:54
Yeah, sure. Thank you, Michael. Nice to meet you all, everyone. I’m Laura Skufca from AARP’s research group. I do a lot of the work in AARP on family caregiving, and we’ve been focusing a lot lately on working caregivers. And they’ve really we did a study actually, in the middle of the summer as we anticipated kind of everything returning to normal after Labor Day and we know that delta kind of changed the path of that but that was kind of our intent when we went to to survey working caregivers to really understand what are the concerns that they have as they re-enter back into the workplace, many of which have been working at home. What benefits that they were awarded while they’ve been working at home and just concerns and resources that they may need as they kind of transitioned back into the workplace. And what we found is that, you know, working caregivers experience stress, you know, at any point in time, but COVID really amped it up. It’s like 80% of caregivers said that the pandemic increased their stress. About half of them got new benefits, you know, like flexibility, being able to work from home, or compressed schedules, alternate schedules as a result of the pandemic and it really helped them, most of them, I think over half of them said that ‘this helped me a great deal’. It’s helping them manage as caregivers, you know, have had a lot of difficulty managing their time. And so we were looking at what do they want for a post pandemic workplace and what it is is flexibility is key. They need this flexibility. It really helps them manage both the workplace and their caregiving responsibilities. They have a lot of concerns as they’re reentering the workspace and primarily their concerns center around the Coronavirus and being exposed themselves or bringing the virus home, usually the older adult they care for, but they’re also concerned now about leaving that person home alone who’s now had someone with them for a while. So what they’re looking for now is flexibility. They’re looking forward so much that they wouldn’t consider a new job. They would leave their company consider a new job if there was a company that would offer them the flexibility that they need. And so we know that a lot of employers have instituted benefits as a result of the pandemic. I think the permanency of these benefits still, you know, kind of remains to be seen, but we know that they’re helping family caregivers and we hope that much of them are here to stay. So that’s kind of a summary of what we found. I don’t know if anyone has questions or I don’t know, Michael, if you want me to go into it more, but that’s kind of a high level summary of the research that we did this summer. As always, we’re doing a lot of work on working caregivers. We have whole resources online for both employers. And the caregivers themselves, you know, ways to manage time, resources and benefits to help them manage.
Reema Guegel 15:00
Hi, Debbie, thank you for including me today. And I will first briefly say I’m Reema Jweied-Guegel. I head up, as Michael said, the partnerships for the enterprise around caregiving, and I am in awe of everything that Laura and Michael do. What I would stress is part of the challenge that we face, what drew me to work at AARP is the fact that I am also a family caregiver, and I think it’s having access to these resources, having the ability to come on and speak with others like this clubhouse room, and then having the opportunity to help others in this space is really what AARP is all about.
Steve Ewell 16:14
Happy to join again today. For people who don’t know me I head up the Consumer Technology Association Foundation, and I think today’s topic is really an incredible opportunity as we look at the programs that we support and fund using technology to help older adults and people with disabilities. A major part of that is looking at some of the solutions that can be useful for the caregivers as well. So we funded programs that use everything from just communication techniques to help people in rural communities, connect different caregivers together and share information to even more advanced technologies like augmented reality in ways that that might be useful for caregivers so very excited to hear what the group has to share today.
Lisa Kendall 17:32
This is Lisa Kendall. I am a social worker and a clinical gerontologist. I recently retired from a psychotherapy practice where I specialized in working with family caregivers and people who are living with health issues. And it was trauma informed practice. So we were really paying attention to the issues that caregivers have where there has been some kind of dysfunction in the family. Thank you, Debbie for mentioning my background. I’ve been doing this work for almost 40 years and was able to be very involved with the sort of the rise of the first wave of organizations, companies, higher education, getting involved with doing something for their employees who are caregivers, I’ve worked for work family elder directions serving fortune 500 companies, and I’ve also worked at Cornell University, which has a really robust program to support family caregivers.
MaryAnne Sterling 19:41
I’m MaryAnne Sterling. I’m actually a former caregiver for multiple parents with dementia and a longtime advocate in the Alzheimer’s community. You’ll generally find me either on Capitol Hill or speaking at healthcare conferences around the country. My actually day job, I am the EVP of caregiver experience at Livpact. And as Debbie mentioned, we do have a solution for working caregivers. And this came about from my personal experience and frustrations as a caregiver. I joined up with some like minded individuals, one of whom is a longtime engineer in Silicon Valley. And we’ve actually built a platform that helps working caregivers manage the entire care process and care journey from their phone, tablet or computer. The application is actually free to consumers and families. We also tailor solutions for organizations who want to support the health journeys of their members or constituents. In fact, right now, we’re partnered with our friends at the Lewy Body Dementia Association LBDA, for those who don’t know them, and we are providing our platform both for LBDA staff, the support group leaders and their constituents with Lewy Body Dementia. So we’re really excited about this project and we’re hoping it will be a model and roadmap for many more to come.
Paige Wilson 21:35
I’m Paige Wilson. I’m the founder of a company called Naborforce. Formerly an investment banker, but like many of us experienced some caregiving strains of my own when my mom started needing a little bit of help. And what I discovered was that there’s a feels like a big void between when older adults are fully independent or getting help from their family until they start needing regular, you know, homecare, CNAs, PCAs nursing, etc. And so when I went through it the whole time, I just kept thinking, gosh, she doesn’t need that. Yeah, I just need another me. And so that’s what Naborforce is. So we are a tech enabled platform that connects older adults and their family caregivers, to a network of compassionate community members. We call them neighbors. They’re mostly empty nesters and retirees and it’s a little bit like Uber with a heart but they are on demand and can pop in for you know, as little as an hour. There’s no contract. So I think Laura was talking about employees looking for flexibility and worried now about leaving people home alone. We do a lot of that and we just launched a few weeks ago Naborforce for Laborforce. And we are working with employers and have the two largest in our main market that have signed on it’s not a hard sell. They are looking for other ways to support those family caregivers. And some of them don’t really yet get the elder care side of it. There’s been so much focus on child care, but when they understand how much it’s impacting their workforce, it’s pretty easy. So a lot of them have backup care that’s maybe through Bright Horizons or something that’s the more regular care but not this on demand piece but really excited to be here. This is a great bunch of folks.
Christina Keys 23:46
I’m Christina. I am with Caregiving.com. This is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, resources for working caregivers. I actually had to leave my career my nine to five career in 2017 because of lack of knowledge of resources as a caregiver, and I’m still a caregiver for my mother today. Just not working nine to five. So caregiving.com offers a lot of great resources like caregiving articles, speakers, authors, podcasts, forums, caregiver stories and local resources. And right now one of the things that we’re doing is we’re building and deploying an army of over 200 caregivers in cities across the US and Canada that are working with caregivers and companies who work with seniors and family members with disabilities. So what I would say is if you have a resource like Naborforce sounds amazing, if you have any type of resource, if you want to let me know, we can certainly let our caregivers that are in the local communities know where they’re sharing with other caregivers. And it’s no cost to you, for our caregivers to refer families to you as well. So if you have a resource, you can certainly connect with me. I’ve got everything, all the ways to connect with me on my bio here, but we’re really working with a lot of you already. And that’s growing too with the amount of resources that we’re having our caregivers share in their local communities.
Benjamin Surmi 25:48
Exciting, exciting group here. Oh my gosh, wow. Like I’m with a bunch of old friends who I’ve never met, it’s awesome. I’m Benjamin I’m with Koelsch Communities and one of the things I do is run Koelsch Innovation Lab where we test different services and technologies and innovations and get to know their founders and share them on live streams and implement them in in some of our communities across the country. But I think why Debbie and Christina were interested in me saying a little something was I was telling them about a conference I just spoke at and my workshop was the technology toolbox for Aging Life Care Coordinators. And for those of you who don’t know what a Aging Life Coordinator Care Coordinator is just in case somebody has never heard of that. It used to be known as geriatric case managers and these are folks who fam working caregivers will hire to go into the situation with mom or dad, maybe they’re in another state. Maybe they can’t be there. And the Aging Life Care Coordinator will go in, they’re trained, they’re certified, and their job is to assess the whole caregiving situation and put together the resources to make it happen. So progressive employers will you know, either hire a service that has Aging Life Care Coordinators, on kind of on call that employees can access or some sort of light version of that, but they’re all over the world and definitely all over the United States. So they have a big conference every year and this was the Western chapter. So I when I spoke, and I kind of divided up a bunch of the newest technologies, the newest services that are tech enabled into six categories. I talked about them as these are the things that actually help someone’s body be better, right? Unique new types of wheelchairs, unique new types of devices that you can actually put on your body to take away back pain and to make you strong and able to walk better and all kinds of things actually help your body be better help you see better help you hear better. And then there was the safe life category in the toolbox. These are things that you can put in place to make sure that your loved one is not scammed, you know when they answer the telephone, or that they can spend money without spending it all in the wrong places or that they that they have diabetes, that you would know before they do that they’re getting pressure sores on their feet or ulcers on their feet, right. So safe life is is that category and then the third category is friendship. So these are all the tools that are available now that help your loved ones stay connected, not isolated, communicating with other people, having good things to do and be with other people. And then four was getting around, those services that are now making it easier to get your loved one where they need to be. And then five was at home like figuring out how to manage the where mom is going to live piece. And then the sixth area was well cared for. And so these are all the tools that help you care for how do we make sure that she gets the right medication at the right time without a human necessarily having to be in the home? How do we make sure that we know she is at risk of a UTI or how do we know that she is going to you know, get what she needs at the right time, whether it be food, medicine, water, whatever it is. We looked at those different technologies. What was interesting was when I was done, the Aging Life Care Coordinators were like we haven’t heard of more than, let’s say three out of the 50 that I shared. And it’s just I think it’s really this kind of goes to the whole heart of this group, which meets regularly to talk about how do we market these services and products is these are the most progressive, most highly paid people in the country whose entire job it is to create care plans for people living at home or an assisted living or memory care for family members who are busy professionals. And they didn’t know most of what was in the toolbox. So really glad we have this this arena to discuss together.
Debbie Howard 30:11
That would be wonderful. And I think it’s really important that we all heard that last thing you said which was that even the healthcare professionals did not know about a lot of those options. And that’s why we talk about these things. We want to get that information out there. Thank you so much Benjamin. So I’d like to move now to Namrata Bagaria. We with this group we reached out to some of the Human Resources Clubhouse groups and Namrata put her hand up. She’s a physician and a health tech researcher, a podcaster and a social entrepreneur. Namrata I’ll let you introduce yourself and just tell us a little bit about your solution.
Namrata Bagaria 31:04
Sure. So thank you, Debbie, for reaching out on LinkedIn. I totally appreciate cold emails and messages I do the same. So everybody understands why. So my story is earlier this year, my father passed away, and he was only 16. And he was two months in the ICU. And so me and my co founder who was a caregiver to his wife who passed away due to cancer many years ago, we started this company called Seniors Junction. And the gap we found was there is no high quality engaging, virtual recreation. Most of it is one time workshops. So we offer eight week live courses where you can learn history, arts, you get certificates, can make friends and find a new hobby and this ways for caregivers it’s easier to have their parents engage with new people on a topic or they themselves can spend quality time like a date night with their family. And the company is called SeniorsJunction.com And just today we released our book called Retired, Widowed and Purposeless – the Making of Seniors Junction, an Autobiography of Paul and a workbook. So this is what we do. And I appreciate coming. You’ll see me regularly on this platform now. Thank you.
Lisa Bolger 33:31
Hi, Debbie, thank you for inviting me to this. This has already been so fascinating for me. Yes, I represent George P. Johnson’s employee resource group for parents and caregivers. We call it packed parents and caregivers together. We actually have four employee resource groups and this one was the most recent to kick off and I think it really came from actually the need for more community and support especially during COVID. We have about 40 members, our we have about 500 employees at GPJ and it’s really become a forum for community and support, but also for some internal lobbying with our talent and culture team so we’re able to kind of come together and see needs that maybe our competitors or our clients have filled for their employees and look at those and see if we might be able to provide those same types of benefits to our own employees. One in particular right now is looking at family leave, and whether that can be you know, expanded for, you know, various purposes is for caregiving specifically. So I think we’re able to kind of bring the voice to our own internal employees and stakeholders through this group. We also do quarterly presentations or workshops. And actually we’re going to be doing a Caregiver Camp, a mini camp in December and, and just bring some some opportunities for learning and ways that we can take care of ourselves and also for our loved ones throughout the year.
Jonathan Brody 36:08
Sure. I agree with everything everyone’s has said so far. There’s an amazing amount of resources out there, both in the technology space, as well as in the more human person to person space and consulting space as it relates to caregivers. I’m a gerontologist. I came up from the pharma medical device side and the first thing I launched was a bisphosphonate so I was a lot involved greatly in fall prevention programs and things like that, that sort of steered me to where we are today being Debbie’s partner in crime. So to not, you know, reiterate everything everyone else has said, the thing that we’re really focusing on is within the corporate environment. Yes, there are lots of resources companies have different things, you know, to be used at different times. But there’s also a managerial and training component. That is really part of the missing link. You know, I think we’ve all heard the stats that under 25% of managers think that caregivers, first of all, they can only recognize 40% or so of the caregivers in their organization, I think AARP said up to 61% I’ve seen varying numbers. So they’re almost un-spottable. The second part is managers don’t know exactly what to do with them and how to manage those situations. And that also extends to sort of a DEI component there because no two caregivers are the same. They all work hard and do things but they have there’s some differences that need to be noted. But training those managers to understand that at more than 85% of their employees think it does affect their performance, and how to identify and work with them and steer them to all these amazing resources that we have out there. A lot of corporations have great things in place, but their EAP programs are either over utilized, which is expensive, underutilized, which is expensive, and the employees are going to it in a moment of crisis. They might not even remember their password, how to get into the portal. So all these programs are great. But the training on how to identify, use them, maybe do some pound of prevention is worth an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure kind of thinking here that, you know, some of the things can even be averted if there’s better planning and approaches in place for both the employee the manager and the company. So what we’re really trying to do is create a culture of care.
Linda Sherman 38:51
Jonathan, can I ask you to define the two acronyms that you used just for maybe in small business that don’t know those yet?
Jonathan Brody 39:01
D is diversity, equity and inclusion. That is a huge component of how companies are creating a fair, better working environment for everybody within their organization. The first thing I mentioned was EAP, which is employee assistance programs. So you’ll have everything in there from the again the classic mental and dental and physical health benefits and gym memberships and car discounts. But you’ll also see a lot of the the programs and tools and resources that we’ve all been talking about in this clubhouse. So that’s what those two acronyms stand for.
Linda Sherman 39:43
Thank you, Jonathan. Back to you, Debbie.
Debbie Howard 39:46
Thanks, Linda. So we’ve been talking about resources we’ve talked about community, we’ve talked about connections, we’ve talked about tech, and we’ve talked about training and education, and also the role of companies in supporting working employees. I’d like to just shift it to a really practical solution that saves us time every single day. And that is I’d like to ask Maxwell Cohen to describe your wonderful Peel Away Sheets. Thanks, Maxwell.
Maxwell Cohen 40:21
I appreciate that. It’s honored to be with so many veterans. My name is Maxwell. I’m the CEO of Peel Away Labs when I was in college, I noticed that my friends they barely wash their sheets. And then when I came home from college, I noticed that my elderly grandmother and grandfather had trouble washing their sheets on more than a daily basis. So that was the impetus behind my product called Peelaways. It’s one fitted bed sheet with elastic at the bottom. And it has five soft 100% waterproof layers. And we’ve recognized and we’ve learned that the caregiving community really really enjoys this product as it improves, you know the patient’s comfort as it’s softer than traditional sheets. And then it’s better time allocation for the caregivers. So in many cases, the product is very beneficial for both parties. It’s 100% disposable so you don’t have to toss the soil layer into your your washing machine. And it allows you know people to get their dignity and independence back. And we know that living at home is you know, the ultimate goal these days. And from what I’ve read many cases, the first impetus of going to an elderly home is because of incontinence. And with a product like ours. We’ve recognized that it has so many profound effects no matter even though it’s such a simple product.
Linda Sherman 46:47
I am the Chief Marketing Officer for Miracle Dressing Wound Care System. I wanted to bring this up as a resource for caregivers, because it can make your life taking care of wounds for older adults at home so much easier. It is a wound care system that last 21 days and you can apply medicinals and clean it through the Miracle Dressing and the kit comes with our Natural Marine Extract which actually heals the skin at the same time that it is protecting it, so for most caregivers this would be used for skin tears, which often occurs in older adults, and also to prevent pressure sores and to heal Stage one and two pressure sores.
Amy Li 41:57
Yes sure. I’m Amy Li, founder of Dance4Healing. We are an AI powered telehealth platform that helps chronic disease patients and elderly find compatible buddies. And it really started with my mom was actually my caregiver when I was going through my stage four cancer. And she empowered me to understand how difficult it is to care for your loved ones. And then now it’s reversed. She’s 82 years old, she had a heart condition that can be kind of scary, high risk of stroke. So like I’m her caregiver. And I also learned that we recently were part of their AAP program by NIH to help us write an SBIR grant that is specifically for dementia patients and their care partners through an intergenerational program. And the reason for that is when we were part of the Stanford Startup Garage, we were required to conduct 100 interviews in the Bay Area and it was very clear when we went out to interview you know, the most popular activity is music and art across the elder centers. But the second most popular activity is the intergenerational program. And then soon after that, we were also part of their caregiving for dementia challenge by IDEO, one of the top finalists, and then that also pushed us to further interview caregivers. And it was very moving to learn the upside and the downside of caregiving for your loved ones you know, sometimes can be really challenging especially for caregivers, that their loved ones no longer able to recognize them, they could become agitated. And all, it’s very challenging. And then we also learned that, from outcome proposing a bunch of research we learned that actually a lot of caregivers die before their loved ones and about over 15 million caregivers in the US are dealing with stress, anxiety, care burden, career disruptions, and majority of them are women that are and so they even know I started with patients as a patient myself like for our Dance4healing approach. We also started realizing there’s a huge population that is impacted by chronic disease in aging. And you know, the biggest impact you know, actually became the age 30 to 50, the sandwich generation who’s technically majority our workforce was dealing with. You know, the challenges of care for your elderly and your young child. Yeah, and so this is why we wanted to bring everybody together like to intergenerational programs. And so for us that was different about what we do is there’s all kinds of exercise programs out there, but you know, sticking to them is very difficult and I have extensive background on behavior design, AI research, user experience. We also follow Fogg’s behavior model. BJ Fogg, quite a famous Stanford professor known for behavior design. So we implement a lot of thoughtful design into our components. So we match people to compatible buddies. We gather the history (exercise history, health history), preference in music and dance, and we tailored it to the needs and abilities. Currently, in the market, most exercise programs are for healthy people, but for people with various vulnerabilities, you got to tailor to their needs. You got to know what their needs, wants and fears are, and can actually design programs that cater to their needs and help them build healthy habits over time. Yeah, so I’m super excited about this group and also the sort of adoption start seeing in the employee health because that’s also one of our focus now is really, what can we employ and figure out, can this be both an employee health program but also a caregiving program?
Nathalie de Vazeille 48:13
My name is Nathalie de Vazeille and I’m with StackCare. StackCare is a Smart Passive monitoring system for seniors that age in place or also in senior living communities, but we’re focusing on how it can help reduce the caregiving burden. Our system, we use small infrared motion sensors and AI and data science to analyze a person’s daily activities. And anything that’s untypical we will highlight that with, you know, health issues or potential fall and send out alerts and notification to caregivers and families, mobile devices, their phones, their watches, their iPads, and just alerting them that something is wrong. And so our system gives great peace of mind to families. It’s completely passive. There is no cameras, no microphones, the senior doesn’t need to wear anything. And we can detect a lot of things not just potential falls as I was saying but also a lot of health issues. So our system really allows for early intervention when treatment is most effective, and prevention of decline is still possible. My name is Nathalie and I am done talking. Thank you very much.
Reema Guegel 49:54
Again, this is Reema from AARP. So this conversation I am enjoying listening and learning about all the different tools and resources that have been developed and that are on offer. One thing that I would love to stress and I go back to what John presented and what Debbie you talk about that your group does is the political will, the political will of the employer, in supporting the and providing those supports and access to employees that are family caregivers, and then the political will of our government, and not just our government and I know it’s fraught with its own issues. But governments in general in support of family caregivers, because far too often, families fall through the cracks because they just can’t have, afford, or access these tools and resources. And it’s just this downward spiral of of Yeah, have, as I said, falling through the cracks. So I would love to learn more about what others are doing, that are working toward this kind of fundamental need in order to provide support to the workforce of family caregivers.
Gary Barg 59:37
I’ve been having some troubles. I was actually sitting waiting for my flu shot at Walgreens and I was getting no coverage. So I’m now finally outside in my car where I have plenty of coverage but what I’ve heard so far has been absolutely terrific. These are conversations I live for. In 1995 I founded Today’s Caregiver Magazine (caregiver.com). And we started hosting in 1998 The Fearless Caregiver Conferences, where we go around the country (and now we’re doing it virtually of course) and interact with caregivers and experts and in all in the same room. And it’s amazing how much the caregivers will teach the experts, and we’re doing one on December 1 for the Connecticut area, but everybody’s invited to join. We’ll have VA elder care attorney and area agency folks. So the idea of sharing services and products and resources for working caregivers is really so important because for the most part, we as family caregivers get our best information from our fellow caregivers. I call our fellow “CEOs of caring for a loved one” saints. And for 20 years we’ve been hosting a caregiver friendly award program for products, services, media organizations. And a bunch of other things I can’t think of right now that put the caregivers first. You know we have one amazing award recipient who built a lighter, more manageable wheelchair for an up to 250 pound person but you can put it in the back of your car with one hand, and I always say if you build a more comfortable seat for your loved one, that’s nice. It’s not necessarily caregiver friendly. But if you build up a wheelchair that cares about the caregivers back and their ability to move their, you know, their loved one along with them – that’s caregiver friendly. So we’ve had hundreds of products become award winners and so if you if you like please come to caregiver.com and take a look at the award recipients over the years because I think you’ll be amazed (this group wouldn’t be amazed because you all you all absolutely get it) at the interest in serving family caregivers. From what I heard as I was coming in and out of coverage was talking about the political, talking about caregiver stress, talking about the effect stress is having on our senior loved ones. So everybody here is doing an amazing job. So I really appreciate it. We have a free newsletter, you can get at caregiver.com So as we learn things, we share things. Thank you.
Debbie Howard 1:02:44
I would like to thank everyone for being here. There are more people in the audience who actually have great things to say. And we would we would just love to have you back – we will be doing more on this topic. And I’d like to announce that Christina Keyes and I will be co-moderating a new group under Rethinking Aging, which is Linda Sherman’s umbrella group, (I’m not sure if that’s the right way to put it, Linda), but we will be launching on November 22 at 4pm Eastern Time and the name of the group will be Shifting the Culture of Caregiving. And we’ll be focusing on Resources, Community (with an advocacy bent as well), and workplace support. So we hope to see you all there on Monday afternoon. November 22, at 4pm. Eastern.