Jean Accius, PHD, PMP
Dr. Accius is a senior executive and nationally recognized thought leader on aging, health and long-term care policy.
So Jean, what's one super interesting thing about you?
I am a Tri-sector athlete having worked on caregiving issues and system change at the federal and state level, in private industry and also in the non-profit sector.
What's the most important thing people need to know about AARP?
AARP was founded by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, a high-school principal, who went looking for her friend, a retired teacher, and found her living in a chicken coup. Her friend was living in poverty in a shack with no windows. Outraged, Dr. Andrus created AARP so everyone could age with dignity, purpose and independence. This July we will celebrate 60 years as an organization following in the footsteps of our founder.
In your research you've determined that 78% of men who are caregivers report having no help from others - why is that statistic so important?
Caregiving is tough and the stress associated with caregiving can overwhelm any person. However, to have no help from others magnifies the stress. These men who are caregivers with no help from others are more likely to be socially isolated, which is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It’s literally bad for your health. They typically don’t have any time to care for themselves; grab drinks with a buddy or just be still.
What triggered AARP to engage with Jack's?
Jack's is such an important organization and support system for male family caregivers. We wanted to highlight Jack's as a model and a way to empower and encourage other men to talk about their experiences and even their fears.. to showcase that while the caregiving journey can be tough at times, there are moments that are rewarding and that you don’t have to do this alone. There is a band of brothers, if you will, that you can lean on when times get weary.
At Jack's we strive to deliver world-class hospitality to men who are cancer caregivers, what does hospitality mean to you?
My undergraduate degree is in hospitality administration. Hospitality is about putting others first and creating meaningful experiences that improve their quality of life.
For a deeper dive with Jean, please enjoy his recent white paper!
"Breaking stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers"