Eldercare Difficult For Families As Economy Suffers

An estimated 1.5 million Americans reside in nursing homes, many of whom heavily depend on the financial support of relatives. But a national increase in job losses and a struggling health care system leave some families struggling to provide quality care for loved ones.

NPR's Marilyn Geewax serves as legal guardian to an aging aunt who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. She shares her story of caring for a loved one, and how the responsibility is sometimes financially overwhelming.

Geewax is joined by Adolph Falcon, of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and Jen Frumer, of the Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service (AJFCS) in West Palm Beach, Fla. They explain financial and emotional dilemmas that often come with eldercare, and discuss ways in which families — including those directly hit by the current economic crisis — can trim financial burdens when caring for someone in need.

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