Why caregivers in Michigan are struggling as population ages

The Detroit News reporters Sarah Rahal and Hayley Harding explain why Michigan caregivers are reaching a breaking point.

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Michigan’s older population is growing faster than the national average; nearly a quarter of residents are 60 or older. Caregiving for this population takes a toll, and the work disproportionately falls on our most vulnerable; women, and particularly women of color, are most often tasked with providing care.

A new Detroit News report entitled “Caregivers in Michigan are reaching a breaking point,” shines a light on how these people are struggling and trying to make it through in Detro.

“People have a hard time accessing resources. And when they do access resources, they might not necessarily be the best resources for that particular person.” — Hayley Harding, Detroit News Data Reporter.


Listen: Why caregivers in Michigan are reaching a breaking point

 


Guests

Hayley Harding is a data reporter for The Detroit News and co-author of their recent report on caregivers in Michigan. She says caregivers in Michigan struggle to find comprehensive support, among other issues.

“People have a hard time accessing resources. And when they do access resources, they might not necessarily be the best resources for that particular person,” says Harding. “What we found is that other states maybe have more comprehensive programs that are the result of investing a lot of money for a long time into taking care of.”

Sarah Rahal is a city reporter for The Detroit News, and co-author of their recent report on caregivers in Michigan. She says another part of the problem is that people are not familiar with kinship caregiving (i.e. the care of children by relatives or close family friends).

“People don’t even recognize that kinship caregiving as a thing. That you don’t have to just caregiver for older people, but you can also caregive for people who you didn’t birth,” says Rahal. “And there are other states that are doing things for kinship caregivers. And that’s what we’re looking into now for our second project.”

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