More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one. Family caregivers are the foundation of long-term care nationwide, exceeding Medicaid long-term care spending in all states. National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. March 2009
While most siblings don’t think of themselves as caregivers for their sisters and brothers with disabilities, it is one of the many roles they play, whether they are children or adults. Sisters especially play a huge role throughout their lives in providing care, companionship, and other needs of their siblings with disabilities, sometimes even from long distance.
“My sister doesn’t live with me but we have a routine that every night I call her and read her a story,” explained Barb Wentzel in a recent Sibling Panel discussion.
Siblings also recognize and value the need for paid caregivers to provide respite for their parents who may be doing the bulk of the caregiving. “It is important that parents receive respite care so they are able to pursue things that are important to them and spend time with their other children.” stated Christiana Yablonowski in her recent Sibling’s Choice nomination to honor Todd Steven & Associates for providing care and community support for her brother. READ MORE ABOUT SIBLING’S CHOICE AWARD WINNERS
It is estimated that in Wisconsin, 549,000 caregivers are providing 588,000 million hours of care to loved ones annually, valued at nearly $6 billion dollars. MORE INFO
Making up a significant portion of those caregivers are siblings caring for their aging parents AND their siblings with disabilities, often while caring for their own growing children!
To recognize the care providers, both paid and unpaid, who provide personal cares of all types to people with disabilities, older adults and other family members and friends who require support to remain healthy and living in their homes and communities, we celebrate National Caregiver Day on February 15, 2019 (3rd Friday of February).
Many of the siblings, usually sisters, caring for family members are also employees and often challenged to juggle the needs of their family members with job requirements. Often they must choose to either remain employed or leave to care for their family. Employers are feeling the effects.
Supported decision-making is a process now formally recognized in Wisconsin state law that provides an alternative to guardianship and will be a helpful tool for many Wisconsin residents. Supported Decision-Making can allow older adults and people with disabilities to retain their authority to make life decisions, while also having trusted people provide support. Attend this presentation to learn what the new law does and how you might use it in your life or to support a family member. Kristine Williams, attorney with Remley & Sensenbrenner, and WisconSibs board member will provide information and answer questions.
family members who provide care to other family members (of any age or disability),
individuals receiving care, and
professionals providing services to caregivers.
This is a great opportunity to get information that will help you as a caregiver and voice your thoughts on what you need.
You will hear other caregivers, along with local professionals, discuss their experiences as care givers and what they have learned that could be helpful to others. This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Two sessions are being offered: 1:30-3:00 pm and 4:30-6:00 pm
Siblings and other family members: This is YOUR opportunity to make your voice heard! Check it out…
URGENT ALERT: Department of Health Services (DHS) to Hold First Public Hearing on New Long-term Care System(Family Care/IRIS) September 9 in Green Bay!
On Wednesday, September 9, the Department of Health Services will hold the first of 8 public hearings on the long-term care system redesign at the Brown County Public Library (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, 515 Pine Street Green Bay, WI 54301). While we are encouraged by DHS’s decision to hold public hearings around the state, we are very concerned that the new system will not preserve key elements of the current Family Care and IRIS programs.
This is your chance to tell DHS what types of supports are important to you and your family! We need to have a big turnout at every public hearing to make sure the new long-term care program is good for people with disabilities and older adults. You can also email written comments to DHS at [email protected]. For more information on how to submit comments to DHS, visit their website.
The first step in contacting your legislator is knowing who your legislator is. The easiest way to do this is the tool found on the Legislature’s home page, athttp://legis.wisconsin.gov. In the right-hand side of that page is a link that says Find My Legislators! Type your address in the box below that link to get the names of your state representative and senator.
Phone. You may leave a message for your legislator’s Capitol office or indicate your position on legislation through the toll free Legislative Hotline, at 1-800-362-9472.
E-mail. The e-mail addresses of members of the Wisconsin Legislature all have the same format. For members of the Assembly, the form is [email protected]; for members of the Senate, the form is [email protected].
Survival Coalition’s Summary of the 2015-17 State Budget:
People with disabilities, their families and advocates across Wisconsin have spent the last several months testifying at hearings, making phone calls, and sending messages to legislators, sharing their ideas for improving the lives of people with disabilities by engaging in the state budget process. The Survival Coalition of more than 30 disability organizations in Wisconsin has assembled the following summary of the state budget’s impact on the disability community.
It includes an assessment of the impact on the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and allies across a series of issues areas. Check it out: