Debra Whitman is the executive vice president of AARP — which sponsored Washington Post Live’s Caregiving in America series. Her video excerpt above is from a conference in Chicago. Her one below is from a second forum in Seattle. (Photo by Ashlee Rezin/The Washington Post)
“The caregiving workforce is really an invisible army that does not get anywhere near the appreciation it deserves. Many of the biggest issues for a caregiver isn’t just trying to take care of their loved one after they come home from the hospital; it’s how to do that and also to juggle their job and their own family responsibilities.
“Unlike other jobs, there’s no job application, there’s no interview and there’s rarely any salary compensation. It’s not a paid job and while those unpaid duties actually help our entire society, adding $450 billion each year of uncompensated care, family caregivers are truly the backbone of our long-term care system here in the United States. And as much as their family needs them, our entire society does as well. We need to have a national conversation about the issues that family caregivers face every single day.”
-Debra Whitman, executive vice president, AARP