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Trump now says he misspoke as he stood side by side with Putin. Also on the Wednesday rundown: a Senate committee looks to weaken the Endangered Species Act; and public input is being sought on Great Lakes restoration.

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WI Caregivers: Pleased to Help, But It Takes a Toll

PHOTO: AARP-Wisconsin's Sam Wilson says there are more than a half-million caregivers over age 18 providing care for their adult family members around the state. Courtesy AARP-Wisconsin.
PHOTO: AARP-Wisconsin's Sam Wilson says there are more than a half-million caregivers over age 18 providing care for their adult family members around the state. Courtesy AARP-Wisconsin.
November 7, 2013

MADISON, Wis. – November is National Family Caregivers Month, and Sam Wilson, state director of AARP Wisconsin, says the number of people involved in providing care for a family member or friend is staggering.

An AARP poll released today reveals what Wilson calls astounding numbers.

"There are about 766,000 Wisconsinites who deal with caregiving at some point in any given year, and what that translates into is about 501 million hours of care, in any given year," he says.

For the most part, caregivers say they are pleased to be able to help a loved one, but it can take a toll on their own personal care, their eating and sleep habits, and even their happiness.

Wilson wants caregivers to know his organization has some online help, at AARP.org/caregiving.

"Perhaps they're looking for some new methods of providing care to the person, their loved one or a friend or a family member, and they can also share the stories of what they're going through,” he says. “That's, I think, sometimes the most important learning that can happen, is to know that there are others dealing with the same challenges."

Wilson says November is a good time to thank the caregivers in your life or your family. He points out odds are that if you aren't a caregiver now, you either have been, or will become one – or will be the person needing care.

According to Wilson, it used to be that there were eight caregivers available for every person needing care. But soon, that ratio will be closer to three-to-one as a result of the aging baby boomers.

"That generation is going to provide a lot of challenges, just in the simple volume,” he says. “Not that they're sicker, not that there's any major health concern that's making it harder, but they're going to live longer and there's more of them – and that's going to require more hands to help."

Wilson adds modern medicine can mean that caregiving gets more challenging every year.

"You see more and more chronic illnesses that pop up, that require a long duration of care,” he explains. “It's not simply treating something acutely, or seeing someone pass away very quickly. It is going to take caregivers in the future a lot more time and a lot more energy, over a longer period of time."




Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI