Dr. Edgar Cahn knows the cost of caregiving: Time. Dr. Cahn, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of the District of Columbia, is founder of the Time Dollars project, a program that now has more than 70 communities in the United States, Great Britain and Japan with register programs.
How does it work? It’s a service credit program that uses “time dollars” as an economic strategy for addressing social problems such as respite services, recognizing and rewarding reciprocal contributions of service and caring.
So, for every hour you spend doing something for someone in the community, you earn one Time Dollar. You then have a Time Dollar to spend on having someone do something for you. It’s a simple concept that has profound effects that is really a social change movement.
KUED-Channel 7 and the Utah Coalition for Caregiver Support are bringing Dr. Cahn to town for a special presentation on Wednesday, March 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the KUED Dumke Board Room at 101 Wasatch Drive. Seating is limited to 80 people and RSVPs should be made to email@example.com, 801 538-3926. Dr. Cahn will be available from 2 to 5 p.m. for a more in-depth discussion. Appointments can be scheduled at the above email.
The presentation ties in with KUED’s major upcoming project around the PBS documentary, “Caring for Your Parents.” As the population ages, many adult children are grappling with an unprecedented social, cultural, economic and personal revolution as they become the primary caregivers for their aging parents. The PBS special, airing April 2 at 7 p.m. on KUED, draws much-needed attention to this widespread reality.
Through an intimate look at five American families, the first 90 minutes of the special underscore today’s struggle to keep parents at home, the tensions between siblings and the complexity of shifting caregiver roles.
In the end, successful caregiving requires one primary ingredient — love. Immediately after the 90-minute broadcast, KUED will air “Hand in Hand: Utah Caregiving,” a half-hour panel discussion with local experts offering concrete advice and guidance on how to start the conversation — often the most difficult step in caregiving. A phone bank will offer caregiver resource packets to callers.
KUED will host a half-day conference on caregiving in June at The City Library. Three additional forums will be held in Price, the Four Corners area and Brigham City, in partnership with the Utah Commission on Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, the Utah Caregiver Coalition, Salt Lake Aging Services, AARP Utah and the Utah Caregiver Support Program.
A companion web site under the KUED Health Matters Initiative will provide direction and information for the Utah community on issues related to caregiving, with links to partner organization web resources.
“Our primary focus is on the ‘sandwich generation,’” says KUED Community Outreach Coordinator Jacqui Voland. “Not only must Utah grapple with an increasing aging population, it must also address the needs of an unusually large number of children. As these two populations grow, the burden on the ‘sandwich generation’ will intensify. Failure to address their needs could cripple the state’s financial, health and social services resources.”
Major funding for Caring for Your Parents is provided by The Harrah’s Foundation. Additional funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. Funding for KUED’s Health Matters outreach is provided in part by WBGH and KUED Speaking of Women’s Health.
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