Letter to the Editor: Recognizing the caregivers of older Americans
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that nearly 25 percent of Louisiana’s population will be over the age of 60 by the year 2030, an increase of more than 25 percent from 2012. As the population in our state ages, it’s important to recognize the important work of caregivers in Louisiana.
Family caregivers are the reason that those with complex needs are able to remain in their homes. Without family caregivers as the foundation of our health care ecosystem, our country’s health care spending would be far greater than three trillion dollars. The financial implications to our state would be staggering. Aging with dignity, while remaining at home at an affordable cost, is directly tied to how much we respect, support and empower family caregivers. Now more than ever, we need to innovate as a country and a state to provide these trusted family members with more consistent support and targeted resources.
Our Caregiver Homes Louisiana Team sees the toll caregiving takes on families. Caregivers are silent heroes in our eyes – committed to providing their loved ones with the highest quality care and honoring their desire to remain at home, despite the emotional, physical and financial hardships that comes with this role.
As program director, I support Louisiana caregivers taking care of an elderly parent, spouse, or other family member who is increasingly unable to live independently. We offer these services through a new innovative program Monitored In-Home Caregiving offered under the Community Choices Waiver that is administered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Aging and Adult Services. By shining more light on the incredible work of caregivers, we can raise awareness about the support they deserve and the value they provide in Louisiana.
I hope you will join me in celebration of National Older Americans Month this May, in recognition of the tens of thousands of caregivers making an impact every day.
Caregiver Homes of Louisiana Program Director