Because of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Caregiver Rule, Brett's employer kept his job open so Brett had the time to care for his brother. Now Brett's back at his job in Chicago, and Kyle is doing great. Like the brothers' situation illustrates, these support systems can have a significant impact on the day-to-day hardships caregivers face.
As the primary caregiver for my father during the last eight years of his life, I know only too well the personal challenges and rewards caregivers and their families experience. But when we realize that in 2009, 62 million family caregivers provided over $450 billion in care, we see that the personal challenges of caregiving also have significant public policy implications.