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, …

Tell Us About Your Acts of Kindness for Caregivers

When you’re a caregiver, a small act of kindness — from a helping hand to a sympathetic ear — can mean so much. I remember standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, my eyes swollen from crying and feeling exhausted. My beloved sister, Karen, had passed away a couple of weeks earlier — a loss I was struggling with while also working and caring for Dad, who has Alzheimer’s. I was running on empty. My emotions must have shown …

New Book Helps Caregivers Care for Themselves

Like so many other family caregivers, I often place my own care on the back burner because I’m focused on the immediate needs of those I’m caring for. But that self-neglect eventually catches up with me — sometimes dramatically. I share one eye-opening experience in my new book, Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving. An excerpt: I lay there wide awake in the roll-away bed, springs from the mattress poking me between the ribs. My chest felt tight, my heart was pounding and I struggled to breathe. I …

Will I Get Alzheimer’s? 6 Ways to Reduce the Risk

When I tell people I’m caring for my 91-year-old dad who has Alzheimer’s disease, they look at me sympathetically and say, “I don’t know how you do it.” When they learn that I also cared for my grandmother when she had Alzheimer’s, they gingerly ask, “Are you afraid of getting it yourself?” Well, yes, actually. I’m terrified. With World Alzheimer’s Day this month (Sept. 21), it’s on my mind  more than usual. No one wants to get Alzheimer’s, but when …

Feeling Alone as a Caregiver? Build a Backup Team

One of the most common questions I get from overwhelmed caregivers is, “How can I get my family members to help me more with caregiving?” My advice: We can make ourselves crazy trying to change other people. We need to accept what they will and will not do, and think more broadly about who else can fill the gaps. As a primary caregiver for my parents and other family members, I’ve found that I need different kinds of assistance. Some …

Caregiving on the Move: Tips for Easier Outings

Let’s face it: Getting out and about with a loved one who has cognitive or mobility challenges can be a logistical nightmare. The equipment, timing and transportation mishaps are often a comedy of errors — like the time I left the trunk wide open for two hours after retrieving Mom’s wheelchair, or when Dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease, spits his food on the floor at a restaurant. Despite the headaches, I’ve remained determined to get my parents (and Dad’s service dog, Mr. …