Aging, Home & Family Expert

As an expert in aging and families, specializing in family caregiving and multigenerational issues, Amy Goyer is a consultant, speaker, writer and AARP Home & Family Expert. She is the primary caregiver for her father in Arizona. Follow her on Twitter @amygoyer and Pinterest! Connect on Facebook www.facebook.com/amygoyer1 or LinkedIn; she's agoyer here in the AARP Online Community.

4 Tips for Emptying a Loved One’s House on a Budget

When my sister Karen died, almost six months ago, I knew, amid my shock and grief, that I had a huge job ahead of me as executor of her estate. There was the paperwork, of course — her will, finances, home mortgage, etc. — which has been complicated, to say the least. But emptying her home and preparing it for sale have been the biggest hurdle. Her three-bedroom house was packed to the brim, and there was no money in …

‘Caring for Mom and Dad’ — a Documentary Hits Home

Watching the new PBS documentary Caring for Mom and Dad was like looking in a mirror. The gut-wrenching heartaches, stress, fatigue, fears — but most of all, the love — these families experience reflect my own caregiving journey. The film (check local listings or watch online at pbs.org/caringformomanddad) is narrated by actress Meryl Streep and highlights several adult children’s experiences as they work and care for parents who are dealing with strokes, dementia and other health challenges as they age. It …

Caregivers, Are You Ready for a Disaster?

Daddy and I were walking across the living room one night recently when the house suddenly went dark. The power was out, but fortunately, I was prepared. Plugged into the outlet in front of us was a power-failure light that comes on automatically. It also serves as an automatic nightlight and a portable flashlight. I have the lights strategically plugged in throughout the house, and they lit our way to safety. I also realized that no electricity meant no air-conditioning, …

Dealing With Dad’s Difficult Alzheimer’s Behaviors

It’s the moodiness that gets to me. And the irritability and all the yelling. Is this really my sweet, kind father? Unfortunately, it is. As a recent study found, many who have Alzheimer’s disease will experience depression, anxiety and other behavioral changes long before memory slips or other cognitive deficits occur. This is a topic I know all too well as my dad battles the disease and I see his happy, sweet disposition erode. In particular, the study found that …

How to Choose a Car to Make Aging Easier

The last time I bought a new car I was 20 years younger and I wanted something that fit me at the time — classy, sexy and fast! Twenty years later, my priorities have taken a U-turn. Now practicality is my top priority. A new car must not only meet my needs as I age but also be suitable for driving around my 91-year-old dad (who lives with me and has Alzheimer’s) and his service dog, Mr. Jackson. Nearly six …

5 Questions I Wish I Had Asked Before They Died

I’m a caregiving expert, with more than 30 years of experience in the field of aging, so you’d think I’d be fully prepared for a loved one’s death, especially when that person is older or has been battling illness. Yet even for me, death caught me by surprise. My mom died a year and a half ago; my oldest sister, Karen, just a few months ago. I’ve had my hands full with caregiving for many years, but there are so many …