By Melissa Thompson
The World’s Toughest Job” online job advertisement led to a viral video compilation of the 24 applicants interviews. The candidates vied for a position described to offer 135-hour workweeks, no vacations, no breaks no pay, and required degrees in medicine, the culinary arts and finance. [Spoiler alert] While “mother” was the role described, the role of caregiver was my first guess.
There are 85 million mothers in the United States. Not far behind (and often overlapping), every year more than 65 million Americans provide care to someone who is ill, disabled, or aged. AARP’s Public Policy Institute’s report, “Valuing the Invaluable,” estimated that this hidden segment of our healthcare system represented $450 billion of unpaid, unaccounted for, services in 2009.
Our population is aging and mental health is a pervasive and growing issue in elderly. The role of caregivers will become more critical then ever. Our healthcare system is not prepared for the dire consequences of psychiatric syndromes and conditions that our will be face as the population ages – both for the aging population, as well as their caregivers.