Larry Nisenson, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer at Genworth Financial, joins Suzanne for this show to discuss Genworth’s trailblazing help for family caregivers. Nobody plans to be a caregiver – you’re suddenly thrust into this role when you least expect it, and Larry has been through it twice. In this segment, Larry talks about how the challenges of the pandemic is affecting caregivers.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider part on the answers for elders radio show. And Welcome back to everyone to answers for elders radio. And we’re here with Larry Nice and send from Jen worth, US Life Insurance, Care Scout Caregiver support services. and Larry, I am so honored to have you on the show and we have been talking a little bit about caregivers in general and of course, so many of us out there have a story, including I’m always reminded by just how many of our listeners are really involved in taking care of loved ones. We have church communities, we hold how types of support networks for seniors and things like that, but a lot of these communities do not have resources to help caregivers, and this is something I think that jet Jen worth has truly been a pioneer in a trade trailblazer in this industry. And now you guys obviously face, we’re all faced, with a new challenge and that is times of covid nineteen. How is that affecting caregivers right now? I do you have any sort of updated info or data on that? We do, and thanks for that. Lead inches, and you’re a hundred percent right. Not only do we have the traditional challenges of care giving, but now, on top of that, we have this pandemic of covid nineteen, with the uncertainty of knowing, of not knowing, rather, when is it going to end? How long is it going to be? What’s going to be the permanent changes, right, and what’s sort of just the temporary things we have to deal as well. To answer some of those questions general, in May of two thousand and twenty, so we’re about sixty or ninety days into really what I would say is the heart of Covid. We conducted a consumer sentiment survey and in that survey we asked caregivers specifically about what their concerns were, what did they think about covid and the impact on their caregiving? And, as you’d imagine, especially in the beginning when there was so much uncertainty, results that jumped out of at us were astonishing, and I’m going to start with we talked about how many people are caregivers? Right, we talked about somewhere between thirty five to forty two, upwards of fifty million people are caregivers. When we asked about caregiving during covid and said who here is what will describe as an emergent caregiver, right, who came home from work one day and and about a call that said your son, your daughter, your love, what is coming home from school? Or your parent that you’re taking care of that’s in a facility. They need to come home and live with you because the facility isn’t going to be able to accommodate them because of the of covid. Well, what we found out is over a hundred million Americans, one out of three Americans, is now an emergent caregiver due to covid. Think about that, think about how crazy that number is. Not only not only are they an emergent caregiver, for the most part, they’re also employees. They’re also working, right, so they’re trying to balance this incredible work taking care of perhaps younger family members and taking care of their older loved ones, and it is an incredibly stressful time for them. As a matter of fact, over fifty percent, over fifty percent of the people who responded said they felt even more stress than usual, which you think, how could that possibly be? And about fifty percent of them said their anxiety level is dramatically up over what they’re normal anxiety. But we know that out there and it’s palpable. Well, and you know what you’re saying is so valid because you know we had answers for elders. We’re kind of, I always say we’re kind of in the eye of the curricane, especially when here in the greater huge sound, we were kind of the start of this wholee covid crisis. Right. It’s started here and right down the road from where I live, about fifteen minute drive, is where Life Care Center of Kirkland is. And then they’re a wonderful community. But we started getting phone calls like crazy from concerned family caregivers of what do I do with my parent who’s maybe in a facility already? Or I don’t know how to deal with my parent because I’m afraid for them, I’m afraid of them being high risk, and there’s there was a lot of information that we didn’t even know yet at the time. So you can understand. I can totally relate to what you’re saying. The anxiety level has to be through the charts of families and certainly we have received more than our share of telephone all over concerned family members, and so obviously, you know, I can verify that you’re absolutely right on, at least in my experience of what’s happening out there. Well, and and when we look at their other range of emotions, right, well, what we see that jumps out is over over twenty five percent of them also felt more vulnerable, lonelier, confused. An obvious one that nobody likes to admit, right, is there’s a level of anger, not at your loved one that they’re asked to be in the situation either, but a level of anger over the additional work, the additional so the average caregiver in this study said as if they had more time to give anyway. Right, they’re not already pressed for time, then, on average they were spending an extra nine hours a week caregiving. That wasn’t anticipated wiser’s and you know that they don’t have time. There’s no extra time, right. So now weird is it? Where does it come from? And we know that the amount of stress that we’re hoping. We’re hoping, obviously everybody, the entire world at this point is hoping that, right, we have a cure and that things can get back to semi normal, right, but nobody, but nobody, needs it more than our caregivers, who are already sort of pushed to the brink. You know everyone. We are talking again to Larry Nice, assign that he is a senior vice president and Keith chief commercial officer for Jen worth in a program called Care Scout. And certainly, Larry, I really want to kind of come back because we’re talking about this covid nineteen and what’s going on in this crisis and obviously you’re dealing with now. You can give me a figure that just made me almost drop my phone here. One hundred million family caregivers. So it’s pretty much doubled. Is that? That blows my mind. It really is an astonishing number. And what’s even more astonishing about it is the you know, the traditional caregivers. Many of those we don’t eat. We did not even really pull for this. Many of those who were considered to be family caregivers before the pandemic are doing double duty now. So yes, there’s fifty million new caregivers that weren’t expecting to be caregivers, but there’s also some of the traditional family caregivers that were taking care of loved ones elderly parents, neighbors, etc. Are Now also dealing with kids that are home from school. So now they have to be teacher, if it’s in my house, disciplinarian. There’s a lot of things that they have to play now on top of their traditional caregiving roles. It’s really it’s such a hard time for those for those caregivers that and I would again, I would encourage your listeners to go. If they go to Gen worthcom, they’ll see underneath the banner there’s a whole section. It’s in like a light blue that says covid nineteen and if they click on that they’ll find the consumer sentiment study. So if they want to read about that, but more importantly, if they scroll down to the bottom of that, they’re going to find some tabs that are planning resources. One of them talks about covid nineteen resource for seniors and it really is. It’s aimed at helping our most vulnerable figure out what to do in this covid nineteen world. How do they stay safe? What are some techniques? What are some resources available for them? There’s also as I mentioned in the previous segment, and there’s conversation starters it’s also on that Tam where we just give some sort of helpful guidance and important conversations for caregivers to be able to have with their loved ones and ways to start some of those conversations, the difficult ones, right, right. And you know, here’s the here’s the amazing thing about all this is that you’re talking about this and I’m envisioning in my mind. Many of these caregivers have lost their own jobs. You know, they’re in a situation where we’re in financial crisis. You know, they don’t even know how they’re going to pay the bills, let alone now they may have a senior loved one or a loved one that is sick with covid or other situation scenarios that they’re having to deal with. So one of the things that, you know, I look at is, wow, what an amazing resource that you guys have, but do you have some like today, if people may be out in their cars or things like that? What are some practical tips and techniques for caregivers to help them navigate and sustain their careers at the same time, if they are able to do that? Well, there are absolutely several several techniques that I will I will say this the caregiving through the employer right, the idea of not wanting to share with your employer that you’re family caregiver because you’re afraid that your employer is going to think negative a tidy about you. That’s an old sort of stereotype. That’s right. Where we’re employees are afraid to have those conversations and we have plenty of statistics that we can talk through in the next segment about that. But I will say that the primary thing that I encourage employees to do is to talk to their HR department. First of all. There’s now federal legislation right around the family leave act in the protection that affords that that affords right. No, no, no employer can fire somebody because there are caregivers, amount of fact, quite the contrary. They have to really work with them and what we find with the employers in particular in the covid world we live in, that employers are in are very empathetic to the plight of their employees and they’re looking for ways to help employees, whether it’s balance their workload, whether it’s to have them, quote unquote, work life balance. But the first thing that they have to do, Sir Zanne, is the employer has to know the employee needs help. Right. So we really do encourage employees to put their hand up, let their manager, let their supervisor, let their HR department know that they are indeed caregivers, that they’re dedicated to their job and they’re also just as dedicated to their family, and we found that most employers these days are very open to that. Well, in that is good news. I think that’s hopeful. We how times have progressed. I wish my story was as good as what you say, because I didn’t have that that experience, and I wasn’t even though I went to my hr department at the time. This is we’re talking, you know, twelve years ago. It was a very different time and, as a result, I think one of the things that we’ve gotten better at and, thanks to a lot of leadership, liked and to get into that mode. So in the next segment Larry and I are going to talk a little bit about those types of tips and also let’s talk about how jen worth is there for our family caregivers, and then we’re going to finish out the hour talking about tear Scout. How can there be benefit programs for you that are family caregivers out there and how can employers be better for our caregivers? Right after this answers for elders radio show with Susan Newman, hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcast like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of Financial Lego, health and wellness and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive our monthly newsletter, receive promotional discounts and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders RADIOCOM. Now there is one place to find the answers for elders
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.