According to North Dakota’s AARP chapter, more than 60 thousand people in the state work as unpaid family caregivers.
They are people who sacrifice time and money to take care of elderly or disabled people still living at home.
The state human services committee moved along two bills this week intended to help those caregivers.
When Larry and Florence became Mr and Mrs Hinderer, JFK was still alive…
There was no super bowl or super WalMart…
53 years they’ve been side by side.
‘That’s the way we are.”
But the way they are – isn’t the way they’ve always been.
About 14 years ago Multiple Sclerosis attacked Florence’s nervous system.
It slowly took away her ability to care for herself.
So Larry quit farming…and started care giving.
“They knock you down and you get up and go again.”
They considered a nursing home.
“It’s just too expensive.”
Even tried it for four months after Larry had surgery.
“When she was there? I was lost. It was completely different. The house was empty.”
The Hinderer’s are members of a growing population.
People who are getting older and less self-sufficient, but want to stay in their homes.
“Most folks want to be at home and if they can safely do so we think they should have the opportunity to do that.”
Josh Askvig directs North Dakota’s AARP chapter.
He and Larry both testified to a legislative committee about the need for more caregivers.
People who can help give guys like Larry a break.
“Now I’m due for another hip replacement and I’d like to see if we can get someone to come in to help a little bit.”
A recent study by NDSU found that finding those people is tough.
Especially in rural areas.
“In the area that I’m at there’s no one we can get to help.”
Larry thinks his plea for help worked on committee members.
They voted to move ahead two bills that would help compensate and train home care givers…
And help keep the couple side by side…