Us and Them and Talking About Caregivers
While most people ignore commercials I am an avid watcher. By watching and listening to commercials I look at how we cast aging. Recently, I caught a different caregiving story told by Gillette. Often commercials depict a midlife daughter caring for her mother by a home healthcare agency. However, in this instance, there were four culture shifting differences.
1. First, the story featured a product assisting the caregiver
2. Second, a male caregiver was featured in the story
3.Then there was an intergenerational element
4. Lastly, the act of caregiving was depicted
How We Care
Last year I gave a talk at SXSW Aging the Opportunity for Lifelong Learning. Even though many Americans are living with or caring for aging family members. Many learn their care duties on the job. More importantly, it is through trial and error. While there are Mommy and Me classes there are no Mom and Me classes. However, through awareness, there is the opportunity for change. Perhaps as more companies follow Gillette’s lead the images of caring will also change. Here are a few statistics from Gillette
Over 75% of caregivers today shave loved ones and patients every 3–5 days, with over 60% using disposable razors.
In the UK, when asked how care and support services helped them, the most common answers among people age 65 and over were related to personal care services (like assisting with shaving).
In the U.S., 1.5 million (3.2%) of the 65+ population in 2014 lived in nursing homes or care facilities.
Gillette TREO Razor http://news.pg.com/blog/gillette-treo
My Other Daughters https://www.facebook.com/myotherdaughters/
Currently, I am the Director of Program Innovation at Advocates For Aging. My claim to fame? First gerontologist to speak at South by Southwest. Another accomplishment? Freewheeling After Sixty the first book to make it easier for older adults to give up driving. Lastly, this summer I’ll be speaking at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging on Let’s Talk Sexy: It’s Part of Aging.