Caring for the Caregiver: How Families Find Relief in Providing for Loved Ones

As the caregiving crisis grows for many families, we find instances of help and hope.

Most caregiving falls on family shoulders, and that’s true even if you’re a four-star admiral, health leader and professor like former surgeon general David Satcher, who served as “America’s top doctor” from 1998 to 2002.

Satcher, 78, cared for his wife, Nola, who had Alzheimer’s. Nola died in June, but her husband’s concern for caregivers did not. Next month, Satcher joins three other former surgeons general to demand a coordinated national infrastructure to help family caregivers. In a rare quad appearance at the International Council on Active Aging conference in Orlando, Florida, Antonia NovelloJocelyn Elders and Richard Carmona will join Satcher in putting the growing caregiving crisis on decision-makers’ radar. Their thinking: If just one surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, could raise AIDS awareness in the 1980s, imagine what four surgeons general, all north of age 60 and with 200 years of collective experience, could do for caregiving.

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