The members of Easterseals’ Caregivers Spokespersons Network are experts who work in markets across the country providing help, hope and answers to older adults and those who care for them.
To learn more about the individual members of Easterseals' Caregivers Spokespersons Network link to their individual bios below:
Angela Aracena, Miami, FL
Jennifer Dexter, Washington, DC
Jed Johnson, Washington, DC
Kathleen Kolenda, Los Angeles, CA
Lisa Peters-Beumer, Chicago, IL
Michelle Schaefer, Milwaukee, WI
Cheryl Wheeler, Dayton, OH
Q: What is Easterseals Caregivers’ Spokespersons Network?
A: Easterseals Caregivers’ Spokespersons Network is a group of experts knowledgeable about older adults and the decisions they and their caregivers make during the transition into the later stages of life. Our spokespeople are advocates for older adults and are interested in ensuring they have choices and resources to make those choices. They are resources to media, speaking on how to talk about aging, where to go for materials and support, the roles of family and community in caring for parents and older adults, as well as end-of-life care.
Q: Why did Easterseals establish its’ Caregivers’ Spokespersons Network?
A: Easterseals established its Caregivers’ Spokespersons Network to be a resource and a support for caregivers and older adults by providing materials that speak to the options available for older adults as they age and letting caregivers know they are not alone in the process.
One in five caregivers, representing 45 million individuals, are without sufficient help, information and formal caregiver training to help them effectively address the challenges of ongoing caregiving and maximize benefits to care recipients. Easterseals offers services, supports and tools for caregivers to help maintain their own health and connectivity to their community, just as we do for the older adults we serve.
Q: How do caregivers find out about Easterseals?
A: Easterseals has developed a number of resources for caregivers and families alike. To find out more about Easterseals and the online publications we offer, visit www.easterseals.com or call 1.800.221.6827.
Q: What do caregivers ask when they get to Easterseals?
A: The first step a caregiver should take is to assess a loved one’s individual needs with an Easterseals representative. From there, the proper services can be identified and offered.
Q: Why are caregivers important to Easterseals?
A: For more than 90 years, Easterseals has been dedicated to serving people with physical and cognitive disabilities, including older adults and those who care for them. The number of older adults with cognitive disabilities is expected to double in the next 30 years, which will have a significant impact on their health and well-being. They also are associated with increased health care use and higher costs. With this comes a growing need for caregivers, and Easterseals’ expertise is needed—to provide caregivers with a place to go for help and for answers.And, because caregivers provide the home and community based care that allows older adults to age in their communities of choice, Easterseals provides services and information to support caregivers.
Today, 45 million caregivers provide services with an estimated value of $350 billion each year and often sacrifice their own interests and income for the rewards of caring for an older loved one. (Source: AARP, 2007). Caregivers are responsible for 90 percent of the long-term care that frail older individuals receive (Source: IOM, 2008).