Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Powerful testimony from Capitol Police officers at insurrection hearing; and CDC now says even vaccinated people should wear masks in some situations.


CDC recommends vaccinated people mask up indoors; searing testimony in first hearing on Jan. 6 insurrection; man accused of killing 8, mostly women of Asian descent, in Atlanta area spa pleads guilty to 4 deaths; mental health takes center stage at Olympics with unexpected exit of superstar gymnast Biles. Note offensive but cogent language in first cut.

A Special Thank You for ND's Family Caregivers


Wednesday, November 27, 2019   

FARGO, N.D. – As North Dakotans gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, there are some who could use a little extra gratitude.

About 68,000 North Dakotans are family caregivers, including Mary Beth Simmer of Fargo. She quit her job to provide care for her sister, who has passed away, but Simmer knows well that caregiving truly is a labor of love - and also a major challenge.

"Many caregivers have loved ones who absolutely need somebody there to help them 24/7 and they can't be left alone," she said. "You can get very depressed: 'I can't do this, this is too much, I need a break.' "

November is National Family Caregivers Month, and Josh Askvig, state director of AARP North Dakota, said a new report shows that caregivers in the state provide about 57 million hours of care each year free of charge - with an economic value of $980 million.

"It really goes to show that those uncompensated caregivers are that backbone of the long-term care continuum," he said.

Nationally, the report said, 41 million family caregivers provide care totaling $470 billion a year. The report also revealed the complex responsibilities of caregiving, which also may include such medical tasks as wound care and medication management. Knowing she'd become her sister's full-time caregiver, Simmer became a Certified Nurse Assistant. However, she noted, most people don't have that sort of training when they are thrust into the caregiving role.

"On top of immediately learning that a loved one is ill and needs care often comes the fact that, 'I don't know how to do that. What if I hurt 'em? What if I don't do it right?' There's so many questions," she said.

In an effort to address the challenges caregivers face, Askvig said AARP helped get the CARE Act passed this year, which provides support for caregivers upon a loved one's release from the hospital.

"We also worked with the North Dakota Department of Human Services to look at how do we get people more breaks across the lifespan of what they call respite care," he said, "and helping them find support for those caregivers to get a planned, or sometimes emergency, break."

Askvig said a growing aging population will only increase the demand for caregivers in the years to come.

The report is online at

Disclosure: AARP North Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
In a survey of young people who have experienced foster care, nearly 20% reported they ran out of food. (Maya Kruchancova/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansans ages 16 to 26 who are or have been in the foster-care system now are eligible for one-time payments of at least $750…

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Molina of Perrysburg says she was inspired as a child by the spirit of activism, as she watched her parents participate in …


HARRISBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants to bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public-works program from the 1930s that created …

Nationwide, drug-overdose deaths increased by 30% between 2019 and 2020. (Andrey/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a …

Health and Wellness

MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections…

A new report says the onset of the pandemic saw a drop of nearly 60% in children's visits to U.S. pediatricians. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

APPLETON, Wis. - The pandemic paused many facets of life, and a new report says wellness checkups for children were among them. With school resuming …


ALBANY, N.Y. - A ballot measure could give New York residents the constitutional right to a healthy environment, and on Tuesday a group of state …

Social Issues

SALEM, Ore. - Young people of color are locked up at disproportionately high rates compared with their white peers, despite recent signs the gap is …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021