caregivers

GuideWell

The parent company of health insurer Florida Blue is offering $400,000 to companies that can help caregivers. 

Chris Kurtz is trying to keep his sense of humor. Even after the VA told him last summer that he no longer needs a caregiver.

"Apparently my legs grew back, I dunno," he says with a laugh, and sinks into his couch in Clarksville, Tenn. And then he mentions that he probably can't get out of the couch without help from his wife.

A Tallahassee film producer has wrapped up his latest movie. It's the story of a young woman who is pressed into caring for a member of her family who's afflicted with Alzheimer's.

Florida is home to 20 million people and nearly 3 million of them are family caregivers. That means they dedicate their time, energy and money tending to a spouse, parent, children or loved ones. But the face of those providers is changing.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drafted more than a million family members into caring for returning wounded and injured troops. They've been called "Hidden Heroes" - the military caregivers of Post-9/11 veterans.

Behind just about every senior suffering with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a caregiver, usually a family member, making sure they are fed and clothed and safe. But who takes care of the caregivers? To find out, WUWF’s Bob Barrett recently sat down with Margaret Jerauld, the Activities Supervisor for the Council on Aging of West Florida. 

In coming weeks, the White House is expected to finalize key new rules on overtime pay that could benefit an estimated 6 million lower-paid salaried workers. Workers' advocates say it's a long-awaited change. Most employer groups vocally oppose the new rules, because they might have to raise their minimum salaries, pay overtime — or limit their workers' hours.

Much of the debate has pitted workers against employers.

Lori Stanton’s 89-year-old mother, Elli, has a neurological disorder where fluid builds up in the brain. In many cases, including Elli’s, it’s accompanied by severe dementia. Until recently, Stanton cared for her mom in her New Tampa home.

“It’s all-consuming, it’s morning to bedtime and then all night,” Stanton said.

Today more than 1 in every 3 baby boomers — that huge glut of people born between 1948 and 1964 — is unmarried. And those unmarried boomers are disproportionately women.