Caregiving resources for communities of color
Most movies about caregiving depict wealthy white families who need to make a decision on whether or not to put their relative in a nursing home. The adult children can spend weeks at a time ruminating over this, taking time off from work just to reach a conclusion.
As Amanda Singleton points out in her AARP article about the future of caregiving, these scenarios are far from the truth about most caregiving experiences. Caregivers from communities of color commonly report more hours spent caregiving with less help and a higher financial burden than their White counterparts
Study after study show that long term care disproportionately impacts communities of color and their financial means. Without other options, many families of color live with the person they’re caring for, most often working full time along with caregiving and sacrificing their health in the process.
SeaCare created this guide to provide some helpful resources for families that are looking for financial and emotional support in caring for their loved ones.
Guides to Caregiving from AARP
The resource center for seniors has wonderfully specific guides geared towards Asian Americans and LGBT caregivers, along with guides in Spanish and Chinese. For instance, the guide for Asian American and Pacific Islanders addresses the pressures on adult children who may be caring for immigrant parents with more traditional cultural expectations.
AARP also has guides on how to handle stress surrounding family caregiving.
National Caucus and Center on Black Aging
The organization provides resources for employment, health and wellness, and affordable housing. It also works to ensure legislation and policy related to adult aging benefits African American and minority seniors.
According to AARP’s Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 report, African American caregivers report providing more care each week (about 30 hours) than White or Asian American caregivers. They are often the sole unpaid caregiver (55 percent), and report more financial impacts than other groups.
There are many other organizations dedicated to caregivers from other backgrounds, including the National Council on Indian Aging, which offers a training geared towards American Indian and Alaska Native caregivers who care for seniors with memory loss.
Family Caregiving Training
The Diverse Elders Coalition created a training to better meet the needs of family caregivers in communities of color, LGBT communities and American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
Available to health care providers, social services workers and family caregivers, the training is scheduled for this summer. Visit their website to learn more information.
The Older Americans Act
Just this last March, Congress reauthorized the Older Americans Act, which funds important services for senior health. Job training, benefits enrollment and caregiver support are among the services.
The National Council on Aging outlines these benefits on their website.
By 2040, one out of every three seniors will be a person of color, American Indian or Alaska Native, according to the Diverse Elders Coalition. The coalition has continued to advocate for these groups through the reauthorization of the act, and works to ensure that communities of color benefit from these policies.
It’s never too early to talk about needing care. On average, people reach out to home care services or other kinds of support for their elderly parent eight to eleven months after they could have started professional care.
Starting research and engaging in these conversations about care options and related costs earlier can make a big impact on your loved one’s mental and physical wellbeing.