Teenage Caregiver Helped Father as He Battled Cancer

This year I had the honor of meeting Kyllian, a young New Jerseyan who, as a teenager, was a caregiver for her father. Throughout his battle with cancer, she would come home after high school every day to care for him. Her dad lost his battle to cancer a few years ago, but Kyllian’s passionate advocacy for family caregivers burns brightly. She is now in her early 20s, and her youth caregiver group is among the many supporters of the …

Putting a Price on Caregiving

The value of unpaid family caregivers is staggering — an estimated $470 billion, according to a new AARP report — but as far as I’m concerned, no dollar figure can ever come close to our true value. I know that my contributions as my family’s caregiver go far beyond the amount it would cost to pay someone else for the hours I provide care, and I’m sure others like me would agree. In my case, there are my financial investments in his well-being, including the …

New Bill in Congress Aims to Support Family Caregivers

Forty million Americans care for their older parents, spouses and other loved ones to help them live independently, at home, each and every day — I am one of them. We family caregivers help with bathing and dressing, transportation, providing meals, and much more. We even handle complex medical tasks like wound care or giving injections. Today, we are an essential part of the U.S. health care system. The unpaid care family caregivers provide is valued at about $470 billion …

Making Caregiving Across State Lines Easier

Imagine you’re a caregiver for your mom, who lives in Oregon. You, however, live in North Carolina. As your mother’s health declines, you become her legal guardian in Oregon, making decisions about her property, medical care and living arrangements. The process of becoming your mom’s legal guardian was not only time consuming but costly. Now your mother wants to move to North Carolina to be closer to you. North Carolina won’t recognize a guardianship order from Oregon, so you will …

The Heroes Who Care for Our Heroes

As the Fourth of July approaches, Americans from coast to coast are preparing for barbecues, parades and fireworks as we celebrate our country’s birthday — and our independence. At this time of year, I like to take a moment to recognize our patriots — the veterans who have fought to keep our country safe and free. I also think about another group of heroes, the family caregivers — spouses, parents, siblings, adult children and others — who care for our …

A Caregiver’s Guide to Staying Sane

“How do you stay sane?” That’s the question a reporter asked me recently at the National Press Foundation after a talk I gave about being a family caregiver. As blunt as it sounds, it was a very good question. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I have been caregiving for nearly 35 years, the past six at a very intensive level. During that time I’ve worked full time; traveled a great deal; written two books; maintained a long-distance …