amy goyer

She Was His North Star

Posted on 04/1/2014 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingHis 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 …

Special Report Explores Caregiving in America

Posted on 03/12/2014 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingI 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

Posted on 02/19/2014 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingI 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

Posted on 02/12/2014 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingEditor’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 …

Siblings, Gratitude and Aging Parents

Posted on 01/31/2014 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingWhether 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 …

Joy and Sorrow: A Precious Photo of My Mom and Me

Posted on 11/5/2013 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingIt’s strange, the things that go through our minds when we are suffering a life-altering, heartbreaking loss. When my Mom passed just three weeks ago, one of the first things I thought of was the coming issue of the AARP Bulletin with our photo on the cover and an excerpt of my book, AARP’s Juggling Work and Caregiving. I knew it was to be a visual depiction of the love I feel for my mom and the care I was …