Women's History Month Resources

Posted on 03/06/23

It’s Women’s History Month and AARP Arkansas is celebrating all month long. Did you know that AARP was founded by an innovative woman with a vision for caring for others?  
Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus was an educator in California and one day she stopped by to visit a former teacher friend—but to her dismay, she discovered that this woman had taken up residence in a backyard chicken coop because she couldn’t afford decent housing.  
This inspired Dr. Andrus to establish the National Retired Teachers Association in 1947. Her passion for working with retirees grew into the American Association of Retired Persons in 1958, now simply called AARP.  

Now, you’ve probably heard about AARP’s work on issues like protecting social security and Medicare, but did you know we also have a lot of resources to help keep you safe?  
AARP’s Fraud Watch Network helps highlight the latest consumer scams. During February you may have heard more about romance scams. These are extortion scams which prey on emotions of victims because they form a romantic attachment to someone they’ve never met.  
Eventually the person starts asking for money and as the victim becomes more and more involved, they are often embarrassed when they discover they have been defrauded; some do not report this crime or even share it with their family.  
While men certainly are victims of romance scams, women are more likely to be targeted.  

According to AARP, “The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received some 56,000 complaints about romance scams in 2021, more than triple the 2017 total, and reported monetary losses from such cons jumped six-fold over the same period, to $547 million.” 
Plug in with the AARP Fraud Watch Network and sign up for their regular updates to stay abreast of the latest scams here.  

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Recently AARP shared that, “Around 1 in 5 Americans are providing some form of care to an adult loved one, and the caregiving landscape is changing.” 
The ratio of those needing care to those providing care is leading to an increased need for home health workers, despite there being a shortage of paid caregivers. 
From the AARP study, “We know that more than 3 in 4 spend their own money on care expenses, on average north of $7,000 annually. And more than 65% of caregivers report emotional strain due to their responsibilities.”  
An interesting finding from an AARP Caregiving cost analysis shows that, “The most common caregiving arrangement is a female caregiver caring for a female recipient. Women, on average, have lower incomes and the cost of caring for female recipients is higher, suggesting this type of caregiving relationship could lead to a significant financial strain. Female caregivers are also spending more hours per week caregiving.”  
AARP offers so many resources for caregivers such as the Prepare to Care Guide

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And speaking of caregiving, did you know that women live roughly 8% longer than men?  

And yet, according to an AARP report called Trends in Research on Women, “only three in ten (29%) women say they have given serious thought to how they will live independently if they need assistance with their daily activities.” 

That's one of the reasons AARP has become interested in livable communities—this could mean mother in laws quarters in homes, tiny houses added to backyards, and certainly communities that are more walkable, with access to care and resources such as banking and groceries.  
As more and more of us become part of the so-called sandwich generation, meaning caring for children and keeping an eye on parent’s needs, this is becoming a forefront issue for people from 40’s to their 80’s as multigenerational dwelling becomes a real possibility.  

Learn more about Livable Communities here

As we celebrate Women's History Month and the advances we have made, it's also important to look at the role of women as caregivers and offer them support during their journey. 

This story is provided by AARP Arkansas. Visit the AARP Arkansas page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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