More than 1,000 people attended the AARP Ohio Movies for Grownups™ free screening of Black Panther at the Cinemark Valley View, breaking a previous attendance record the Ohio AARP office set in 2017 at the same location. The free event was part of AARP’s national screening taking place in 80+ markets and was designed to be a celebration of the 1.5 million everyday heroes who are providing unpaid care to a family member, spouse or friend in Ohio.
“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system in America. We need to make it easier for them to coordinate care for their loved ones, get information and resources, and take a break so they can rest and recharge,” said AARP Ohio State Director Barbara A. Sykes. “This type of event is fun, free and we can include helpful information and access to resources.”
There are approximately 40 million family caregivers in the U.S., according to AARP. The unpaid care that family caregivers provide helps delay or prevents costly nursing home care, which is often paid for by Medicaid.
The majority (60%) of caregivers are employed full- or part-time. Although many people may think of caregivers as being older adults, 25% of family caregivers are millennials under age 35 and 1 in 5 African Americans are currently providing short or long-term caregiving to someone close to them.
Family caregivers take on a range of tasks including managing medications, helping with bathing and dressing, preparing and feeding meals, arranging transportation, and handling financial and legal matters, and African-American caregivers face unique challenges:
- The majority of African-American family caregivers are much younger than the average general market counterparts (44.2 years old vs. 52.5 old) and are the primary caregivers, providing all or most of the care, without the assistance of paid help
- Compared with the average population of family caregivers, African-Americans are more likely to spend more than 21 hours per week caregiving
- 1 in 3 African-American family caregivers are “sandwiched,” caring for a child or grandchild under the age of 18 in the same household
Terri Eason is a working professional, a mother of two teenagers and also provides care for her 96-year old grandmother. She helped promote the event with the Cleveland Chapter of the Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and says “having the privilege of caring for your loved one is definitely rewarding, but that doesn’t take away the stress. The family dynamic changes and there are some challenges created when a loved one is determined to remain independent and age in place, I appreciate AARP’s focus on providing relevant info for caregivers like myself.”
Videos, articles, forums and books like AARP’s Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving are examples of the caregiving resources, many of them free, available from AARP to help families prepare for new roles.
“We want to make the transition less stressful and allow families to enjoy more quality time together,” added Sykes.
AARP supports the more than 40 million family caregivers nationwide who provide unpaid short-term or long-term care to a parent, spouse, friend or other adult loved one in need. For more information about caregiving resources, visit www.aarp.org/caregiving or call 1-877-333-5885.