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.

3 Things to Do Today to Prevent Falls

The phone calls from my Dad have come all too often. “Amy, your mother has had a fall,”  he’d say. I’d slide out of bed into my shoes and race to my parents’ apartment, sometimes meeting the emergency squad when I arrived.  We’d spend hours in the emergency room, grateful every time she came home without any broken bones or a concussion. Each fall set her back, increasing pain and limiting her mobility.  That resulted in less strength, poor circulation …

5 Things I’ve Learned as a Caregiver

I recently had the great pleasure of returning to Indiana, the state of my birth, to speak at three local AARP Indiana Caregiver Connect forums in Ft. Wayne, Indianapolis and Merrillville. It was a bittersweet experience. My parents were with me on my last visit to Indiana, where they both were born and raised. But now travel would be very difficult for them, so most likely they won’t return to Indiana until they are gone from this earth. As a …

5 Tips for Caregivers: Take a Break!

A colleague recently cautioned me about using the term “respite” because she thought people wouldn’t know its meaning. I found this ironic, because I actually believe it’s more likely that most of us don’t know how it feels rather than what it means in terms of getting a break from caring for family and friends. We rarely get to experience time completely away from the responsibility and stress of caregiving. That’s why I feel so lucky to have recently returned …

8 Tips for a Great Family Reunion

They were a boisterous group, the family I observed on the Durango-Silverton train recently while I was on vacation. They were laughing and telling stories and obviously enjoying their time together. I couldn’t resist… I struck up a conversation with one of the young women and learned they were having a family reunion in honor of her mother’s 70th birthday. They’d rented a house that accommodated 17 people and gathered in Durango, Colo., coming from Seattle, Nashville, Phoenix and Minneaapolis. …

GPS Systems Track Loved Ones on Road Trips

Recently, 81-year-old Goldie Hunt and her husband, Vernon Hunt, 91, were reported missing after they set out on a 500-mile car trip from Garnet, Kansas to visit Goldie’s twin sister in Dwight, Ill. The alarming story thankfully came to a happy ending several days later when they were spotted by a law enforcement officer as they asked for directions in Michigan. The Hunts’ experience reminds me of a heartbreaking story several years ago 0f a Pennsylvania couple, William Fresch, 85, and his …

Helping Older Loved Ones Cope With Disaster

In a recent conversation with the AARP Oklahoma state director, Sean Voskuhl, about the tornadoes in Moore, Okla., and throughout the state, I related my concerns about the older adults and their caregivers affected by the disasters. “In a matter of minutes, thousands of lives were changed forever as a result of the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma in May. The path of destruction and loss of life left by these storms has been heartbreaking,” he told me. “We remember the lost, pray for the …