Forum to focus on caregiving challenges, solutions
Whether they are paid workers or family members, people who provide care for older adults face numerous challenges, from physical burdens and economic hardships to loneliness and depression.
More than one in five Americans act as a family caregiver, according to a 2020 report from the AARP Public Policy Institute, many of whom receive no compensation and must balance competing professional and personal obligations. Increasingly, caregivers are younger people and from diverse backgrounds, creating new hurdles for government and social welfare organizations trying to reach these individuals.
To explore solutions for the complex issues that caregivers encounter, the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative is conducting a Caregivers on the Front Lines Public Forum at 7 p.m. Sept. 9. WXXI News is a member of the collaborative.
This free live, virtual event will be hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson and carried on Detroit Public Television’s digital platforms, including Facebook.
It will bring together journalists from the collaborative, experts in the field and, most importantly, caregivers and the people they care for. Panels will discuss potential solutions on a range of crucial issues, including the growing shortage of paid direct care workers, the urgent need for respite care, support for communities in which many caregivers and care recipients do not speak English, and training for family members who find themselves thrust into but unprepared for the role of caregiver, among other topics.
“Our collaborative’s journalists have produced insightful, solutions-based coverage, which has brought a new and needed focus to issues of caregiving in our communities,” said Karen Magnuson, project director. “Their reporting has given a human face to the problems faced by caregivers, while at the same time identifying available programs and resources to help them provide better care.”
“The public forum will help us deliver this important content to a larger audience and give caregivers of older adults a voice and an opportunity to inform us about the issues that matter most to them.”
The New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative was formed this year by more than 30 media, academic and community organizations, initially to focus on the lives and challenges of caregivers.
Stories that WXXI News has produced for the collaboration include one about how meditation and mindfulness can be useful tools for caregivers and another about how an organization helps spousal caregivers, who often have stronger feelings of isolation and loneliness than other family caregivers.