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.

Finding My Path Through Grief to Healing

The path of grief is a very individual journey – no two people grieve exactly alike. It has been six months today since my mom passed on. For me it has been a very bumpy path, complicated by continuing to care for my dad and support him in his grief as he battles Alzheimer’s disease. I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve, so the initial phases of grief meant swollen eyes and umpteen boxes of tissues. I am …

She Was His North Star

His shoulders slump and his head bows as if his very life force has been suddenly drawn out of him. His face reflects the pain and confusion that his mind and heart are toiling with, struggling to grasp a wisp of reality and understand that the impossible has indeed happened. “I just can’t believe it; I can’t fathom it,” he says. “Are you telling me the truth? She’s not available anymore?” This happens every time my dad asks about my …

Radio Series: ‘Beyond the Face of Alzheimer’s’

Alzheimer’s. Just hearing the word makes my heart lurch and my body tense up. It’s a disease that has hit very close to home for me. Both my grandmother and now my sweet Daddy are victims of Alzheimer’s disease. Yet I’m a believer that the more we talk about it, the closer we get to effective treatments and a cure. The more stories we share with one another, the more hopeful we become – and the less alone we feel. …

Special Report Explores Caregiving in America

I have been very public about caregiving for my parents over the past several years, but I know that the majority of the 42 million family caregivers in the U.S. aren’t as vocal as I have been about the challenges we face. Thanks to a recent special report in the Washington Post, this “quiet force caring for an aging America,” as it is described, is getting national media attention. Perhaps our voices will not be so quiet as more Americans become …

How to Develop a Caregiving Plan

I first spoke with my parents about their plans for “the future” when Dad retired from his career as a university professor in 1995. Mom had suffered a stroke six years earlier but was still mobile, and Dad was in good health. They had completed advance directives and estate planning. My caregiving plan was to help them stay as independent as possible for as long as possible. I’d visit three or four times a year, monitor their needs and coordinate with my …

It’s Not Easy Being in a Relationship with a Caregiver

Editor’s note: We asked Bill Carter, the longtime companion of AARP’s caregiving expert and blogger, Amy Goyer, to write about being in a long-distance relationship with a full-time caregiver. My relationship with Amy began seven years ago. At the time she was a busy professional working in Washington, D.C., and her parents were enjoying their retirement in Phoenix. Since I live in northern Maryland, our relationship had to be a long-distance one from the beginning. However, we thoroughly enjoyed each other’s …