Family Caregivers Say ‘Thank You, Nurses’

During National Nurses Week (May 6–12, 2016), we celebrate nurses. I say, let’s celebrate nurses every day! Across the country, these hardworking professionals help us get and stay well, and provide comfort and care when we’re at our most vulnerable. In my experience, they do this with incredible skill as well as a smile. When caring for my mom and pop, nurses were lifesavers for my parents and me. One in particular, Nurse Sue, became more like a member of …

One Caregiver’s Regret: How the CARE Act Could Have Helped

In August of 2014, Mary’s mother Eartha was discharged from the hospital after a short stay — an event that would have lasting consequences. When Mary arrived at the hospital that day, Eartha was ready to go, dressed and sitting in a wheelchair with a list of medications on her lap.  Never given instructions on her mother’s new prescriptions, Mary missed out on a key piece of information — one of the medications was only meant to be given for …

Bipartisan Family Caregiver Tax Credit Introduced in U.S. Congress

En español | Think for a moment how busy and chaotic everyday life can be: juggling careers, kids, finances and more. Now imagine also caring for a parent, spouse or child with a disability, maybe even around the clock. Every day about 40 million Americans — myself included — care for our loved ones so they can live independently at home and in their communities, where they want to be. We drive to appointments, prepare meals, manage medications and so …

Managing a Loved One’s Finances

Let me introduce you to a fellow family caregiver, Lisa. With the help of her sister, Lisa cared for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease — managing medications, cleaning the house, and handling any medical issues. They also managed her mother’s finances. Lisa shared: “It felt like our whole world was slowly falling apart. At the time we did not know much about the disease or how quickly it was going to debilitate her. My sister and I took responsibility of …

We Hear You … and We Hope It Shows

How good does it feel to know you’ve been heard? How rare is that feeling? Gaining someone’s full attention, especially lately with electronic dialogue constantly competing for brain space, is all the more precious for being so scarce. What a shame. Being heard is really the point where conversation starts, and where the search for understanding and solutions begins. Listening to the people AARP serves has always been among our highest priorities: we are committed to hearing what you say …

Driven to Desperation: Caring for Someone With Alzheimer’s

I recently read a disturbing news report about a 69-year-old man in Florida who apparently killed his 89-year-old mother and then committed suicide. Police reported that he left a note stating that his mother, who lived with him, had advanced Alzheimer’s disease and that he was having extreme difficulty caring for her. The story absolutely breaks my heart. While I have certainly never felt that low, as a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s, I do have some insight into the feelings of …