Need Your Opinion: Women and Aging Panel Discussion

Our good friends at Volunteers of America are having their second Women and Aging Panel Discussion.  David Burch of VOA asked me for some input on their panel discussion, but the best people to ask are you!!  Please share your input by commenting on this post, and I will send the consolidated feedback over to David.

Hi Ryan,

Hope all’s well with you. I wanted to let you know about a panel discussion Volunteers of America will host on Tuesday, May 11 at the National Press Club in Washington on the topic of women and aging.

Like we did with our panel last year, we’d like to gather feedback from bloggers like you who write about issues affecting older Americans. The panelists will explore the health care, financial and societal issues affecting older women that will influence workplaces, public policy and the economy for years to come. Some of the questions we’ll explore include:

  • What should be done to care for elderly women who have exhausted their resources caring for others?
  • How can a woman prepare for her own golden years while balancing careers, children and caring for parents or loved ones?

Please feel free to email me any questions you would like to ask the panel.

For those of your who aren’t familiar with the Women and Aging Panel Discussion, you should take it look.  There’s a great line-up planned.

  • Tweets that mention Volunteers of America Women and Aging | Inside Elder Care — Inside Elder Care —

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Malone, ryanmalone, elder care, Elderly In-Home Care, Craig Gordon and others. Craig Gordon said: Need Your Opinion: Women and Aging Panel Discussion: Our good friends at Volunteers of America are having their s… [...]

  • richardpeck

    Three questions I would suggest: Considering increasing presssures on Social Security and Medicare, should women consider working into their 70s? What are some low-cost alternatives that might help aging women avoid the high costs of assisted living and skilled nursing care? What kind of experience can women expect with Alzheimer's disease, both as caregivers and victims? Thank you. Richard Peck, former Editor-in-Chief, Long-Term Living, “presently Caregiving” blogger for

  • Linda92714

    I'd like to see a topic added for single women; we seem to be an overlooked demographic. Some had/have children, but not all. Some have family members that can provided limited assistance. Women friends are our primary source of support and aid. Long term care will be vital; planning to cover the cost essential. Communal living would be an interesting option to explore as an interim step between independence and assisted living. Household duties could be divided by interests or expertise: Cooking, cleaning, yardwork, finances, shopping, etc., so the costs can be shared. Aging would not be the sole criteria; cancer patients and those with other disabilities could benefit from communal living.

  • ryanmalone

    From Tom Rauscher via an email to me:

    On the first question, “What should be done to care for elderly women who have exhausted their resources caring for others?” here's a radical thought (similar to what some countries in Europe do). Make the draft universal – everyone between the ages of 16-25 must serve their country for 2 years. For people who object to being in the armed service, they can serve their country by providing care for elderly. Such people, called “civies”, would go to the homes of elderly and do daily tasks the people are unable to do themselves or for which they require assistance: grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, checking that medications are being taken, help with computer usage, etc. Civies could visit 2-4 people a day and help those who have helped others. Maybe civies would have to serve 3 years rather than the 2 years for those who go into the military.

    Regarding the second question, “How can a woman prepare for her own golden years while balancing careers, children and caring for parents or loved ones?”, how about providing counseling services to people who need them. The counselors could be young MBAs, who get deferred student loan payments for performing this job part time, young retired people who have had the experience themselves, or bankers who would get reduced sentences by helping others.

  • David Burch

    Hello, everyone.

    I just wanted to thank all of you for taking the time to post questions. Our panel took place on Tuesday and was a big success. If you'd like to watch it, video of the event is now posted online at

    Our program ultimately had to be cut short, especially when it came to Q&A, but we did work some of your ideas into the questions and scripting for the event. We're especially interested in the issue of older single women managing their own caregiving. That will be a primary focus area for Volunteers of America as we continue this discussion on women and aging over the coming year.

    We also released the findings of a research study Volunteers of America commissioned on this topic during the panel. If you're interested, please take a look at…

    Thanks again!

    David Burch
    Volunteers of America

  • Sammie

    Wish I had found this page early enough to have contributed.  I'm a single woman whose work-related injury has kept me out of the workforce. I received sub-poverty workers comp payments. I was the primary caregiver for my now-deceased mother, and am now the sole caregiver for my elderly father. I live in his home. You know what it feels like?  One avatar in a video game, two people, two controllers. It's like having a cojoined person.  Old westerns blast throughout every waking hour.  The demands get more and more.  I used to like to cook, but now I'm constantly cooking because he is now on a low-to-no salt diet.  I'm a vegetarian, his diet is classic American.  I rarely if ever make food I like, because I'm played out constantly cooking his.  He won't do the simplest things he used to do and is still able to perform.  That leaves it to me.  Even in pain which leaves me sleeping sitting up for days, I'm still having to do everything which needs to be done.  He barely tolerates a cleaning lady every 2 weeks, so forget having a stranger in.  Can't go away to see my friends.  What is worse is that I see how, from a very young age, I was manipulated by my mother into being here to assume the caregiver role.  Wealthy people hire caregivers.  Others pick a child and kneecap her/him.  Depressed? Bored? Who wouldn't be?  I sleep for as long as I can.

  • Ryan @ SmartBug Media

    Sorry to hear about your situation. You should consider speaking to a therapist to try and work through some of these issues. Caregiving can be incredibly stressful and it has obvious (as you've documented) impacts on your wellbeing. I wish you the very best and you are in my thoughts.