caring for aging parents

Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits Can Help, But Process Difficult

Posted on 11/12/2012 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingWhen I first started investigating the Veterans Administration’s Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits program for my Dad, a decorated WWII Veteran who earned the Bronze Star while serving in Italy with the 10th Mountain Division, I was excited to learn that he might qualify for some financial assistance to help with the cost of his care. Aid and Attendance is an enhanced or special monthly pension program for certain veterans who require care. Dad has developed Alzheimer’s disease and …

Parking Lot Sob-fest: Cleansed by Tears and Renewed by Chocolate

Posted on 09/21/2012 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingI pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot, slammed the shift into park and began to sob. The cries came from deep in my belly and slowly worked their way up to my tear-strewn face, emerging messily in a volcanic eruption of tears and snot. Yuck. No tissues in the car, of course. I tried to stop, but it wasn’t happening. And I got loud. I noticed a few people looking at me but I didn’t give a whip. Ahh … …

Mom and Dad Moving In: Plan B

Posted on 09/6/2012 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingIn my last post I shared what happened to me when I let my ‘caring for the caregiver’ habits slide … back pain stopped me cold.  It happened at a critical time during my parents’ move from their senior living apartment back into the house with me. As I mentioned then, it forced me to go with Plan B, which usually involves: changing dates, asking for help, and spending more money. It turned out that adjusting my parents’ move date …

NBC Highlights Caregiving Campaign — And My Family!

Posted on 08/15/2012 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

Your LifeAARP and the Ad Council are teaming up to raise awareness about the 42 million Americans who care for a loved one — people like me who are family caregivers. This campaign is designed to help us find the quality information, resources and support that we desperately need. As part of my work with AARP, I am serving as a spokesperson for this campaign — and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s the quintessential convergence of my personal and professional lives. I’m deeply passionate …

From Rolodex to Evernote: Organizing The List of my Parents’ Health Care Providers

Posted on 07/25/2012 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingIt was about 15 years old, and full of tattered business and index cards, neatly organized alphabetically – either by name or perhaps by service or type of physician or town or … well, it wasn’t consistent as far as I could tell. Finding the contact information for my parent’s health care and other service providers in my Dad’s card file was a journey into his mind and internal filing system. I’m sure it made sense to him, but it …

The Goyers: Opting for Multigenerational Living

Posted on 07/18/2012 by | Aging, Home & Family Expert | Comments

CaregivingI’ve had a strange obsession with watching The Waltons the past few months. I find myself DVRing every episode on three different channels. I watch 4 episodes a day. For some reason, I’ve been oddly attracted to their TV-land multigenerational family living and the connection to my childhood (when The Waltons was in its prime.) Now I know why. In the beginning of September my parents and I will be moving in together, forming our own version of 21st century …