We’d love to hear from you. Virginia Morris will answer readers’ questions, posting responses on this website. (You don’t have to use your full name, and we won’t publish email addresses.) Or, just send us your stories, comments, photos or vignettes — anything that captures a caregiving moment or sentiment. Send your questions or stories to email@example.com.
Here are some letters Ms. Morris answered for the ABC website when she appeared on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.
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Virginia Morris speaks extensively on issues of eldercare, addressing three primary audiences:
Daughters, sons and other caregivers need not only practical information, but also reassurance that they are doing okay, that their best is good enough. Ms Morris guides them through difficult conversations, helps them navigate complicated situations and relationships, and reminds them that they have to care for themselves in order to care for anyone else.
Doctors, lawyers, staff of long-term care facilities and other adult services, and others who deal with the elderly and their loved ones often need a brief refresher course on how to best help families, as well as some reinforcement that their efforts are much needed and much appreciated.
Studies suggest that 12 percent of the workforce is actively involved in eldercare and that that figure is on the rise. In addition to their regular workday and home responsibilities, these people are providing, on average, 18 hours of care a week. Nearly one in five caregivers provides either “constant care” or more than 40 hours of care each week.
Because of these extra duties, one-fifth of working caregivers give up work completely or temporarily, and more than half make changes at work to accommodate their eldercare responsibilities — for example, going in late, leaving early and taking days off.
Employees who are prepared and educated about eldercare are less apt to be called away from work because of a crisis, distracted at work, or forced to leave their jobs. Ms. Morris can help workers prepare for any possible emergency and schedule their time so that eldercare does not interfere with their work.
For information on setting up a speaking engagement please email Virginia@careforagingparents.com