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March 5, 2014 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Addressing a “crisis in caring” for older Americans

AGING | With the onset of the so-called “silver tsunami,” there is a huge need for full-time caregivers for the aging. Families are increasingly stepping into this role, fundamentally altering their lives in order to care for their parents and grandparents. (WaPo, 3/5):

As Americans age, and living well into the 90s or even past 100 is increasingly common, the nation is facing a crisis in caring for the elderly.

It can be particularly hard on the middle class — those not poor enough to qualify for federal benefits for long-term care and not wealthy enough to afford the high cost of assisted-living facilities or in-home helpers. In fact, much of the daily care for aging parents is done by family members — typically a middle-aged daughter who also is juggling a job and raising children.

It’s an issue with wide-ranging implications for society. Today’s edition of the Post has a special section on caregiving, highlighting the often invisible challenges facing those who are providing full-time care for their family members. The report came out of recent events in Seattle and Chicago that examined the issue from a variety of angles.

FOOD | As food becomes an ever-more popular interest among Americans, philanthropy has begun taking a broader interest in the food system. The Washington Regional Convergence Partnership is leading the way on this in our region. The latest edition of What Funders Need to Know captures some of the Partnership’s learnings about how our food is produced, processed, distributed, consumed, and disposed of, who is involved in this process, and where there are opportunities to improve how the entire system works. (Daily, 3/5)

Related: On April 1, WRAG members and the community at large are invited to hear from food writer and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty on the topic of “culinary justice.” Intrigued? You should be. Check out this recent profile of him in Garden & Gun and then register for the event, to be held at Busboys & Poets, here.

INEQUALITY | The DC Fiscal Policy Institute breaks down the gap between the District’s highest and lowest earners and finds that the economic recovery is leaving groups behind – specifically, those without college degrees, low-wage workers, and African American and Hispanic residents. (DCFPI, 3/5)

COMMUNITY | A Wider Circle’s founder Mark Bergel was recently named a 2014 CNN Hero. On the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region‘s blog, he writes about the organization’s work addressing poverty in our region, and the importance of shining a national light on the region’s needs. (CFNCR, 3/4)

Related: You can watch the CNN segment on A Wider Circle here.

TRANSIT | Obama’s budget proposal, released yesterday, includes $100 million in federal funding for the Purple Line, which is well received by advocates for the project. (WaPo, 3/5)

HOMELESSNESS/VETERANS | In Just 100 Days, DC Finds Homes For More Than 200 Homeless Veterans (Think Progress, 2/28) The coalition of agencies leading this push have a goal of housing another 190 homeless vets by March 31.

Related: WRAG members are invited to a funders-only brown bag discussion on homelessness in the region. More information and registration here.

DEMOGRAPHICS | New research from UVA finds that one in nine Virginians is foreign born, and nearly 70 percent of the state’s immigrant population lives in northern Virginia. (WAMU, 3/4)

Obama’s Budget Would Give D.C. More Autonomy. But Can It Pass? (CP, 3/4)

Leading Mayoral Candidates Weigh in on Housing and Homelessness (CP, 3/4)

Where will DC’s next 200,000 residents go? The mayoral candidates weigh in (GGW, 3/4)

Here are two kind of fascinating distractions for your afternoon. First, the voting and lifestyle tendencies predicted by first names, based on voting registration data. Second, a data visualization that shows how the popularity of any given first name spread throughout the country over the last century. Enjoy.

– Rebekah

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