Oklahoma AARP Has Unused Resources For Caregivers

Thursday, August 31st 2017, 5:36 pm
By: News On 6

More and more people are becoming a caregiver for aging family members.

Fortunately, there’s a new AARP survey designed to help get caregivers the resources they need.
"In Oklahoma at any time we think we have 524,000 caregivers." Said Director of AARP Oklahoma Sean Voskuhl.

That's not doctors and nurses, that's everyday folks caring for a family member for some part of the day or night.
AARP surveyed caregivers in Northeast Oklahoma and found many are younger than they expected and most are unaware of resources available to help them.
Voskuhl said the goal for most families is simple.

"If you can help someone stay in their home instead of sending 50, 60 or 70 thousand dollars for a long term care facility, that's a big deal," Voskuhl said. 

State Representative Carol Bush says It's stressful.

She's caregiver for her mom now and was for both her parents for several years.
The stress level for everyone is rising. 

"The population is aging; in 20 years this is gonna be a huge problem," Bush said.

More of us will become caregivers and she says it's important for agencies like AARP and the state to provide resources caregivers need and ensure they know how to find it.

"Having a one stop shop where people can go and do that I think is vitally important," Bush said.

She said there is a state-wide care giving coalition which includes AARP and others, working to create that one stop shop.