Aging Parents, Stressed Families
In 2018, Jackie Crosby and her O’Brien student team published several installments of "Aging Parents, Stressed Families." The series in the Minneapolis Star Tribune examines the growing stresses on family caregivers and possible ways to address the increased needs.
The series, which began June 3, 2018, found that the burden that will skyrocket as 76 million baby boomers move into their 80s and need help coping with dementia, cancer, heart disease or just plain frailty and old age.
Half of the 35 million family caregivers who now assist older adults have full-time jobs. Families are more geographically dispersed. Adult children are squeezed between raising their own families and managing a dizzying array of care demands.
Family sizes have been shrinking for decades, which means there will be fewer adults to care for older relatives in the years ahead. Already, hospitals, nursing homes and home-care agencies face a worker shortage.
Inspired by personal experience navigating caregiving challenges, Crosby met with dozens of families and interviewed more than 100 experts to document the burdens on family caregivers as society ages. Star Tribune photographer Renée Jones Schneider spent months documenting the lives of families who are caring for aging friends and relatives.
Marquette students Jack Goods, Patrick Thomas and Yiren Yang contributed research and reporting. The initial installment of the series featured videos and audio reporting they helped produce.
In 2019, the series received a National Headliner Award and an honorable mention from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing's Best in Business Awards.
The work published to date:
June 3-4, 2018
‘Invisible workforce’ of caregivers is wearing out as boomers age
Double duty: Caregivers take on a second shift in an aging America
Videos: Hard times, hope from the front lines of caregiving
Where the laws stand, and finding help
Caregivers in their own words: survival tips
How this caregiving project was born: a personal and universal story