Caring for Yourself and Your Loved One

Becoming a caregiver can be overwhelming, especially when it happens suddenly and you are not fully prepared to embark on, unbeknownst to you, your caregiver journey. It can be like becoming a new parent. You are now responsible for ensuring that your loved one gets the best care and advice. You hear other people’s stories of how they did it, read lots of how-to manuals, attend workshops and seminars, but you truly don’t know until you experience it. The impact …

Veterans Day and National Caregiving Month: We Salute Our Heroes

November is National Family Caregiver month — when we recognize and honor the 40 million family caregivers across this country. Family caregivers are “first responders” in the delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS). They assist family members or friends with personal care and other vital activities to help them remain in their homes and communities. Across the United States, family caregivers identify, arrange and coordinate services and supports, administer medications, assist with personal care, and perform other vital activities …

Support by, and for, Caregivers: A Veteran’s Story

I am a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, having deployed on two different ships four times to the then-war-torn country. I married the love of my life, Mary, after my first deployment in 1970. Looking back these 46 years, I am so glad I married early in life; it enabled us to have so many wonderful times together, raise a family, have careers, travel the world and enjoy our marriage. And looking back, it also bought us some years …

Family Caregiving: The Hardest Thing I Ever Had To Do

“Taking care of my mother with Alzheimer’s was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. When I was in the U.S Navy, I had the 2nd most dangerous job in the world by working the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Yes, it was harder than that.” – Ray A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—Families Caring for an Aging America—examines existing support for family caregivers like Ray, and recommends ways …

Can Tech Transform Aging?

Can technology transform aging in America? It’s a compelling question, and in fact I recently participated in a panel discussion with that very title. The panel, hosted by Politico, discussed community-based care and technological innovations to help older adults age in their own homes and communities. Technology, of course, is ingrained in every aspect of our society. While technology can produce benefits that improve the quality of life of older adults and support family caregivers, there are still barriers and …

Changing the Way We Look at Families Caring for an Aging America

While family caregiving is an intensely personal issue, it is critically important to the well-being of our aging U.S. population, families and society — and must be taken seriously as a critical issue of public policy. That’s according to a recent report on family caregiving for older adults from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report, developed and authored by a 19-member expert committee of which I was a member, highlights the shortcoming of both the health …