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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Public forum focuses on solutions to caregiving crisis in Michigan

holding hands
Advocates for the elderly say programs to help them stay in their homes are severely underfunded, putting a strain on folks like Eric Dolson, who is shown here grasping the hand of his mother, Lorli Marie Dolson. (The Detroit News photo by John L. Russell)

A journalism collaborative is hosting a forum at 7 p.m. Thursday to explore solutions to elder caregiving, particularly amid the pandemic.

This free live, virtual event will be hosted by BridgeDetroit project executive Stephen Henderson and carried on Detroit Public Television’s digital platforms, including Facebook.

The forum is sponsored by the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, which was formed this year by more than 30 media, academic and community organizations, including Bridge Michigan.


Its first public forum in Michigan will bring together journalists including Bridge’s Ted Roelofs, who has written extensively about elder caregiving, as well as experts and caregivers.


Panels will discuss potential solutions to the growing shortage of paid direct care workers, the need for respite care, support for communities in which many caregivers and care recipients do not speak English, and training for family members who find themselves thrust into but unprepared for the role of caregiver, among other topics.

The event is being produced in collaboration with Strides for Seniors, an annual month-long series of activities celebrating Detroit’s neighborhood senior centers, organized by Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Detroit’s Parks & Recreation and St. Patrick Senior Center.

“Our collaborative’s journalists have produced insightful, solutions-based coverage, which has brought a new and needed focus to issues of caregiving in our communities,” said Karen Magnuson, project director. “Their reporting has given a human face to the problems faced by caregivers, while at the same time identifying available programs and resources to help them provide better care.”

“The public forum will help us deliver this important content to a larger audience and give caregivers of older adults a voice and an opportunity to inform us about the issues that matter most to them.” 

Members of the news collaborative in Michigan include Bridge Michigan, Detroit Free Press, Detroit Public Television, Detour Detroit, Hometown Life, Michigan Radio, The Detroit News, Livingston Daily, Macomb Daily, The Oakland Press, Tostada Magazine and Urban Aging News.

Four news organizations represented by New Michigan Media are also involved: The Arab American News, Latino Press, Michigan Korean Weekly and The Detroit Jewish News. Community partners include Front Edge Publishing, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

Members of the news collaborative in New York include the Democrat and Chronicle, Minority Reporter, La Voz, WXXI and News10NBC in Rochester, and WGRZ, The Buffalo News, the Niagara Gazette and the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal and WBFO in the Buffalo area. Community partners include the Rochester Institute of Technology's MAGIC Center.

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