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 …

Impact of an Aging America on Individuals and Institutions

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond delivered the following speech on the impact of an aging America on individuals and institutions in an address to AARP staff and volunteers this morning:   Impact of an Aging America on Major Institutions Good morning. Welcome to the 2014 State & National Group Leadership Summit. And a special welcome to the staff and volunteers who traveled from every corner of the country – and beyond – to be here this week. I’d like …

Web Series ‘My Mom on Movies’ Highlights Dynamic Mother-Son Duo

Most adult children will tell you they think their mothers are superstars, but Pat Seftel really is one – thanks to her film director son, Josh. The two collaborate on a Web series, My Mom on Movies, in which Pat shares her observations about everything from movie stars (she loves Bradley Cooper) to books (she embarrassed herself talking about 50 Shades of Grey) and politics (she says Anthony Weiner is in “deep doo-doo”). It all started when Josh’s father died, …