Home & Family blogger

Patti Shea, an AARP Social Media manager, loves baseball, beagles and Mel Brooks movies. She grew up in L.A. and now cares for her parents in Florida.

Planning, Planning … Poof!

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of guest blogs by Lee Woodruff. As I said goodbye to my father in his assisted-living facility the other day, I left shaking my head in wonderment. How had we gotten to this place? My two sisters and I had been trading shifts, running back and forth between my parents for weeks now, toggling between the hard choices about my Dad’s sliding dementia and my mother’s tenuous health, which we hoped …

The Bag Lady in Me

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of guest blogs by Lee Woodruff. A recurring nightmare visits me in the middle of the hormonal sweat lodge that my bed becomes at 3:30 a.m. I’m toward the end of my life, crone-like and alone (always alone) with all of my possessions in a paper bag. My house and family are gone and I am living on the street. I once read somewhere that this phenomenon among middle-aged women is …

First-time Homebuyer: Where Do I Start With Improvements?

I just bought a house … where do I start? That’s the question I’m going to ask Tom Kraeutler, one half of the fab duo of The Money Pit, who is hosting a webinar on home improvements on a budget. I’m clueless on where to start. We had to fix up a bathroom thanks to a 1980s sink but other than that, I dont’ know if I should replace the floors first or paint or fix up the yard/driveway or …

And the AARP Mutt Madness Winner Is …

KODY! Out of 59 dogs, this gorgeous Great Pyrenees outlasted them all. Kody was the front-runner from the very beginning as his human, Vicki, masterfully promoted him and garnered tons of “Likes” from her friends and family in each round. Kody gets to boast for a year that he’s the Mutt Madness Top Dog. Good on him! Let’s not forget about the runner-up: the lovable Indi, who’s owner submitted her picture in memory of the playful yellow lab. Indi died from cancer in February. We congratulate …

What the Caregiver Learned

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of guest blogs by Lee Woodruff. When my husband Bob was critically injured by a roadside bomb while reporting on the war in Iraq, I could only react. I didn’t have time to gain the wisdom of all the caregivers who had come before me. Like most of us thrust into instant crisis mode, I operated from the gut. And I mostly learned through trial and error, by doing and moving …

What Are Ancillary Services and How They Can Help You

Editor’s note: This is last in a series of posts by guest blogger Michelle Seitzer on housing options for caregivers.  For a series recap, please see links below. Senior care and housing clearly encompasses more than just retirement community condos and assisted living suites. Yet even beyond the levels of care covered in this series, there are several additional services that often “wrap-around” or supplement other types of care. Most are provided at home or within another setting (like a …