One of the hardest things to do is to help individual caregivers see themselves in the big picture of health care. Caregiving can be personal and emotional. It can isolate us, make us feel like we are alone. But that is far from true. According to AARP over 34 million people in this country are taking care of an adult over the age of 50. That’s an army.
When we are making presentations to various groups, my co-author of “The Caregiver’s Secrets,” Harold, explains that caregiving is like cable. In the cable business there is talk of “the last mile” of connectivity. That’s where the wire is run to your house. All the satellites, receiving dishes, and other hardware is useless without that. Until the signal reaches your house, cable as a business doesn’t work. Family caregivers are the “last mile” of health care connectivity. From the home, they provide 70% of all care. It’s where rubber meets road. Without family caregivers our health care model would not work.
And yes, like cable, health care can be expensive, confusing, and frustrating. Some other things the two have in common.