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Older adults in this country need care.

Seems the issue of care for older adults with health needs is trendy. A piece in tomorrow’s NY Times Magazine features a young woman whose life was knocked seriously off track when she had to provide care for her ill and injured father. This is a problem fairly unique to the US among higher income countries. For instance in Australia, a family we know needed to cope with the consequences of Dad’s lung transplant. They received help from a federal program that partly replaces the salaries of family caregivers, so Millennial Daughter was able to stay home and look after him. Here, our family caregivers like Randi give up practically everything. Home health care is expensive assuming one can even find someone to provide it. Long-term care insurance, which in theory would pay a caregiver, is increasingly unaffordable.

Cville Village volunteers won’t provide the kind of care that Randi does for her dad. But we would be able to help out with non-personal care responsibilities: picking up groceries or a prescription from the pharmacy, or just sitting with the older adult, relieving the caregiver for an hour while she gets some fresh air. Sometimes a small service can make a huge difference.