This Year, I’m Thankful for Family Caregivers

Nancy was caring for her mother and husband, raising four children, and working full time when she ended up in the hospital, suffering from exhaustion. It was then that she realized that she couldn’t help her loved ones unless she also took care of herself. Like Nancy, many family caregivers are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to helping their older parents, spouses and other loved ones, they work full or part time, raise children …

Make Priceless Family Memories on Thanksgiving, StoryCorps-Style

Thanksgiving is approaching and families across the nation will be gathering to eat, maybe watch TV and, I hope, enjoy time together. But one of the most common questions I get this time of year is, “How can I get the generations in our family to interact more?” This year I have a great answer: Participate in StoryCorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen using its new free app. You may have heard StoryCorps on NPR’s Morning Edition on Fridays—a series of moving …

Caring for Our Veterans

My Pop, who served in the Navy during World War II, was fond of sharing stories of his military years, and they always started out with the phrase, “When I was in the service of my country, fighting for mankind….” It reminded his children and grandchildren of the magnitude of the war and the sacrifice millions made. Last week, as we took time to thank and recognize veterans like Pop, I also thought about all the family caregivers who help …

AARP Raises Awareness, Offers New Resources for Caregivers

I’m excited about AARP’s current caregiving awareness campaign, to recognize and support America’s 40 million family caregivers. The campaign coincides with November’s National Family Caregivers Month. As a caregiver, I’m especially happy to be a part of this effort. I recently appeared on NBC’s Today show, and you can look for me on The Doctors this month as well as on other national and local television programs. Many AARP state offices are organizing events, and I’ll be speaking at several of them. Organize and privately share …

Are You a Family Caregiver? Find Help Here

When caring for Mom and Pop, my siblings and I struggled to find someone who could provide home care for our parents when we couldn’t. We wanted a person who was kind and caring, but we also wanted someone who was licensed, bonded and insured, with no criminal record of fraud or abuse. This was the most difficult part of our caregiving journey, and I know millions of family caregivers are now facing the same challenge. The fight to live …

My Top Tips for Caregivers, as Seen on ‘Today’ Show

Recently, I appeared on the Today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda to share some of my best tips for caregivers. The segments go by in a flash, so I thought I’d share a bit more about each of the tips I discussed on the show (see the video below). If you suddenly find yourself in the position of caregiver for a parent, spouse/partner, grandparent, sibling, adult child, friend or neighbor, here are some things to do immediately: If a loved one is unexpectedly hospitalized, …