Caring for aging loved ones

Family caregiver facts (information provided by

  • In 1900 people died from trauma, infection and childbirth and died at home-today most people die of chronic illness and die in hospitals

  • 43.5 million family caregivers providing unpaid care to an adult family member or friend who is age 50 or over.

  • 67% of all caregivers are 50 & over

  • The average age of a care recipient is 77

  • 63% of all care recipients are between the ages of 75 & 84

  • Within the next 10 years there will be more Americans over the age of 65, than under the age of 5; of those the highest percentage will be over the age of 85.
*Source -- "Caregiving in the U.S.: A Focused Look at Those Caring for Someone Age 50 or Older," Nov. 2009, a study by the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP and funded by the MetLife Foundation.

Important Information from CEO Jamie Spooner:

Forms to know about:
  • HIPAA form -- Allows you to have access to your parents medical informatio and you need this to discuss their condition with medical professionals.

  • Medical Insurance and release forms -- Know your parents financial and insurance situation

  • Medicare or other supplemental -- Understand their health coverage

  • Know the difference in legal documents -- Wills & living trusts and durable power of attorney

  • Navigating the medical system -- If you are in the hospital for X days Medicare/Medical will pay for X numbers of days in skilled nursing/rehab facility.

  • Know the time requirements and cut-off periods -- To insure you are getting the best coverage
What is home health, and why do you need to know:
There are two types:
  • In home medical and non medical home health.

  • A non-medical home health aide can bathe someone, but cannot cut hair or nails, or do any blood work-insurance might pay for some home health non medical for a specific number of days and then it has to be private pay.
Hospice or palliative care: what are the options?
  • Hospice is not necessarily a death sentence - you might have it until a patient gets better.
Things to be aware of:
  • Long term care insurance
  • A program called POLST
About Jamie Spooner:

Jamie Spooner, CEO of, is a national expert in website usability, human factors, and accessibility. She has 20 years of web design and marketing experience, including four years in advertising (clients included Amex and AT&T) and seven years as a Lead Program Development Manager at Microsoft.

She designed the company's second website, Microsoft Windows Media, Windows 98 website, and Microsoft bCentral. She also holds a patent for an Internet Radio Toolbar designed for As the CEO of the North Bay area's largest web technology, design, and marketing firm, Planeteria, Jamie has overseen the creation and maintenance of hundreds of successful sites. She is a graduate of Smith College.

Jamie's personal story:

Jamie Spooner assumed the role of long-distance caregiver when her father became terminally ill. He was living in Connecticut and she in California. She experienced the overwhelming feelings and frustrations people go through when trying to find information to help care for an ailing loved one.

Because of her professional background as a Lead Design Program Manager for Microsoft and owner of a premier Web design company in the North Bay, Jamie saw a gaping need for an online resource that would provide support and information for others faced with the same concerns. As a tribute to her late father, she created, an online resource to help the 43.5 million adults currently caring for parents or friends.


At icarevillage we are creating a reverence for an older generation. We are doing this through our Wisdom of Elders Across America video series and our Hat's off to Elder tributes. We have two upcoming contests on our site.

"The best advice I learned from a grandparent," which is going on now, and The 2010 Granny & Gramps Awards video contest.

For more informatioin, visit

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