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.

Financial Burden of Being a Family Caregiver

Caring for family or friends is not just a matter of love and time, it’s also a matter of dollars and cents. According to a new survey from Caring.com, nearly half of caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year – a whopping $25,000 over the average caregiving stint of five years. And many spend far more. Complicating things is the reluctance of caregivers to talk about finances:  seven out of 10 have not spoken with loved ones about how to …

Loving Long-Distance Grandparents Celebrate Grandparents Day

My grandparents were a big part of my life, even though they lived an eight-hour drive away. My parents have lived even farther away from most of their grandchildren. According to AARP’s 2012 grandparent study, we are not alone: 43 percent of grandparents have to travel 200-plus miles to see the grandchildren who live farthest from them. It was a challenge, but we spent most of our vacations with my grandparents. They also wrote us letters, and we talked regularly …

Jackson on the Job: Service Dog Plays Crucial Role in Caregiving Team

At less than a foot tall and under 25 pounds, Mr. Jackson might not seem like the powerhouse that he is in our family. His floppy ears and big brown eyes make him adorable, but it’s the intelligence and sensitivity that are apparent through those eyes that have made him my constant, loyal and vital partner in caregiving for my parents over the past five years. As caregivers, we all need to build a caregiving team - no one can do …

Dementia Caregivers Especially Stressed, Report Finds

Family caregivers who are caring for loved ones with cognitive and behavioral health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression, face particularly demanding challenges, according to a new report from AARP and the United Hospital Fund. As a result of all the demands on them, a majority of these caregivers say they feel stressed much of the time as they try to juggle their caregiving responsibilities with other work or family obligations. As primary caregiver for my dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease, I can …

Join Us: Care4YouToo Contest Helps Caregivers Get Fit

Over the past five years of intensive caregiving for my parents, I have watched my numbers go up – my cholesterol, my weight, my body fat and, yes, my jeans size. And let’s not even mention my stress level and the number of pieces of chocolate I eat daily. One number has gone down, though: the number of hours I spend taking care of myself by exercising, meditating, relaxing or sleeping. Unfortunately, it’s a pattern many of us who are …

Hot Times: How Summer Heat Affects Caregiving

The dog days of summer can complicate caregiving. For my 90-year-old dad, whose progressing Alzheimer’s disease makes him sensitive to extremes in temperature, the typical 110-degree Phoenix weather is too hot to go outside, but an overly air-conditioned room is too cold. The result for my father is low motivation, appetite and activity levels that aren’t good for his health. Here are some of the creative ways I use to keep up with my dad’s health care, socialization and exercise …