The women in Judith Bair’s family tend to age well. Both of her grandmothers lived long into their 90s; her mother, Helen — who currently lives with Judith on her farm in Sinks Grove, West Virginia — is 101. Judith, 77, has been her mother’s primary caregiver for the past decade. Although Helen is in relatively good health for a centenarian, she is bound to a wheelchair and needs constant attention.

Judith’s day begins early and includes helping her mother get washed and dressed, ensuring she gets her medication and preparing meals for her throughout the day.

“My mom is remarkably healthy for a woman her age, but she can’t really be left alone,” Judith said.

According to Caregiving in the United States 2015, published by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving, more than 43 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult in the last year.

Launched in 2015, Road Scholar’s Caregiver Grants provide respite for those shouldering the incredible responsibility of serving as family caregivers.

Judith applied for and was awarded a grant that allowed her to recently participate in a Road Scholar learning adventure: Ultimate Opera: Two Productions at the Met.

“It was the most wonderful experience I’ve had in many years,” Judith said. “Even though I was traveling alone, I met interesting, friendly fellow Road Scholar participants, some of them opera buffs who have attended several Road Scholar programs like this one. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your thoughtful generosity in providing me with the opportunity to expand my horizons and to be refreshed and renewed through this Road Scholar program.”

How can you make a difference for a caregiver like Judith?

Funding for the Caregiver Grant comes from the generous support of our donors, who have benefitted from the experience of educational travel and want to give the gift of learning and renewal to those who are otherwise unable to participate. A gift of $1,300 covers the cost of one Caregiver Grant, providing a life-changing Road Scholar experience for someone who needs a break from the selfless tasks of caregiving. Friends who provide gifts of $10,000 and above can establish a named Caregiver Grant fund and create a permanent legacy of support.

Click here to learn about supporting Road Scholar Caregiver Grants, or call the Road Scholar Advancement Office toll free at (877) 737-0664.

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