New Campaign Highlights Holiday Joy, Stress for Caregivers

November is National Family Caregivers Month, and AARP has teamed up with the Ad Council in a campaign that includes the results of a new caregiving poll as well as a series of powerful public service ads highlighting the changing roles of family caregivers. The ads also point caregivers to help from the AARP Caregiving Resource Center, which unveils two new tools this month: an opportunity to tell your own caregiving story and a searchable nationwide directory of senior-care providers …

Military Caregivers Need More Support, Study Shows

The family members who provide care for the nation’s  wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars need more support than they’re getting, says a study of military caregivers released today by the RAND Corporation. The largest-ever survey of more than 1,000 military caregivers found that 25 percent are soldiers’ parents, many of whom are growing older themselves and who will not always be up to the task. “These post 9/11 caregivers are providing invaluable support to the veterans they’re caring for,” says Rajeev Ramchand, a behavioral …

The Caregiving Worries of Parents with Special Needs Kids

Most of us think about taking care of our aging parents or spouse, not our kids. But there are more than 11 million Americans currently providing care for a family member between the ages of 18 and 49. Many worry deeply about their loved one’s future should something unexpectedly happen to them or their spouse. “I worry night and day,” a friend told me. “What happens to my daughter when I’m no longer here?” Her daughter, now 27, has had neurological, …

Siblings, Gratitude and Aging Parents

Whether you’ve had a lifelong sibling rivalry or been the best of friends, sibling relationships can be very difficult to navigate when caring for an aging parent. I am in contact with many family caregivers, and I often hear about conflict between siblings around caregiving decisions and responsibilities. Some are at such odds that they either don’t communicate or have a great deal of trouble doing so. Others say that a simple expression of appreciation would go a long way …

Losing Mom: The Void That Can’t Be Filled

It is with an impossibly heavy heart that I write this post. Patricia Ann Stutz Goyer, passed on Oct. 11 after a brief and sudden illness. To many she was friend, mentor, teacher, director, aunt, sister, wife … to me she was Mom, and she has been the inspiration for so much of my work and writing over the past four years. Mom was a remarkable woman. She grew up in Indiana, salutatorian of her high school graduating class. She …

Does Caregiving Help You Live Longer?

If you’ve heard that being a family caregiver can diminish your life expectancy, the results of a new report from Johns Hopkins University should make you relax. It turns out that caring for a chronically ill or disabled family member can, in fact, extend a caregiver’s life. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter The recent research showed that caregivers live an average of nine months longer than non-caregivers. Researchers took participants from a pool of 30,000 in a National Institutes of Health …