Two out of every three older or elderly adults with disabilities receive all of their care from family caregivers, and even among the most severely disabled adults, two thirds still receive care only from these informal family caregivers.
Unlike childcare, eldercare is overlooked by many employers and there are few support systems to help family caregivers. Furthermore, family caregiving usually begins at the point where the working caregiver is at the peak of their career (often during their 40s and 50s), just as their parents age hits the critical point where they can no longer live without assistance.
This May PBS aired Caring for Mom and Dad, a documentary (narrated by Meryl Streep). The film, directed by Larkin McPhee and produced by Laurie Donnelly, tells the stories of eight families, all of whom struggle with different aspects of caregiving, whether financial, emotional, physical, or all of the above.
Millions of families will face the struggles of eldercare and family caregiving. However, this topic is important to everyone, caregiver or not, as our country will experience a tidal wave of eldercare need due to the fact that the percentage of elderly Americans will increase exponentially in the next couple of decades. It is a great documentary that is definitely worth watching, especially if you are a family caregiver or know someone who is caring for an elderly or aging loved one. Check out the film in the player below or watch directly at PBS.org above for more information.