Aging and Disability Resource Centers: Scorecard Highlights the Need for Information and Access to Services

Most Americans will eventually need services to help them live independently, either as consumers or as caregivers providing support to family and friends. However, many of them do not know where to turn for help or how to pay for these services. That’s a major reason Aging and Disability Resource Centers – referred to as ADRCs – are critically important to help them find the services they need. ADRCs offer a “single point of entry” for clients and families to …

States Start Shifting Focus to Help Seniors Live Independently, at Home

“We need to ‘spring’ your mother,” Pop, who loved prison movies, told me over the phone while asking me to come home that weekend. Mom had been in a rehabilitation center for two weeks following a bad fall and a hospital stay. Both she and Pop were ready for her to go home. My mom and pop, like most Americans, wanted to stay in their home and community as they aged. Pop became the primary family caregiver for Mom, and …

Living Father’s Day

I don’t usually leave Daddy for long. But this time a series of work commitments – and a high school reunion – means I’ll stay away from home for 19 days. Although my sister Linda is going to be with Daddy for most of that time, it’s still very hard to leave knowing he may change a great deal while I’m away, and that he will probably feel less safe and secure without my presence. He doesn’t always know I am …

Sometimes Family Caregivers Need a Break

Every day for eight years, my Pop provided hands-on care for my mom, who faced a number of physical challenges.  At age 90, Pop was still helping Mom out of bed into her wheelchair, bathing and dressing her, making the meals, and doing the dishes, laundry and anything else that needed to be done. A few times a week, Pop would get out of the house for a trip to the grocery store and a few staples like bread, milk …

Enticing Dad to Eat When Alzheimer’s Interferes

When I was a kid, my sisters and I used to call Dad the “human garbage disposal” because he was happy to finish off anything we had left on our plates. He’s always had a healthy appetite, but since my mom died seven months ago, Alzheimer’s disease has begun to erode many aspects of Dad’s daily functioning, including his hunger and enjoyment of food. When Dad refuses ice cream, true panic fills my heart. If he doesn’t want his favorites, …

Muhammad Ali’s Fight and His Caregiving Champ: Lonnie Ali Shares Her Story About Caring for ‘The Greatest’

If you haven’t seen the cover of the June AARP Bulletin, look closely. The handsome man on the front is a fighter, a survivor and a legend. Muhammad Ali, who floated and stung his way to the world heavyweight title - not once, but twice – has his often-smiling eyes hidden behind heavy lids. His wife and caregiver, Lonnie Ali, cradles his head for a kiss, showing the same affection I had seen more than 14 years ago as a reporter – once …