How to Develop a Caregiving Plan

I 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

Editor’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

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 …

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

It’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 …

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 …

8 Ways That Grandparents Really Rock!

This Sunday is National Grandparents Day and to celebrate, I’ve compiled a list of the eight reasons I think grandparents are beyond fabulous: They’re grand role models. This generation of grandparents rocks, but not in a chair on the front porch. Today’s Grandma and Grandpa live more active, interesting lives than any generation before. They’ve been there, done that – and they’ve brought the grandkids T-shirts to prove it. Their values, skills and life experience make them people to look up …