Joy and Sorrow: A Precious Photo of My Mom and Me

It’s strange, the things that go through our minds when we are suffering a life-altering, heartbreaking loss. When my Mom passed just three weeks ago, one of the first things I thought of was the coming issue of the AARP Bulletin with our photo on the cover and an excerpt of my book, AARP’s Juggling Work and Caregiving. I knew it was to be a visual depiction of the love I feel for my mom and the care I was …

Losing Mom: The Void That Can’t Be Filled

It is with an impossibly heavy heart that I write this post. Patricia Ann Stutz Goyer, passed on Oct. 11 after a brief and sudden illness. To many she was friend, mentor, teacher, director, aunt, sister, wife … to me she was Mom, and she has been the inspiration for so much of my work and writing over the past four years. Mom was a remarkable woman. She grew up in Indiana, salutatorian of her high school graduating class. She …

Advance Planning for Eldercare Saves Money, A New Study Shows

When it comes to planning for long-term care, the early bird does get the worm, according to a new  study: The report shows that families who anticipate their needs can save close to $11,000 a year in out of pocket expenses by planning in advance instead of waiting until a crisis. >> Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter What’s more, 38 percent of family caregivers and 35 percent of care recipients in the study, commissioned by the insurance company Genworth …

GPS Systems Track Loved Ones on Road Trips

Recently, 81-year-old Goldie Hunt and her husband, Vernon Hunt, 91, were reported missing after they set out on a 500-mile car trip from Garnet, Kansas to visit Goldie’s twin sister in Dwight, Ill. The alarming story thankfully came to a happy ending several days later when they were spotted by a law enforcement officer as they asked for directions in Michigan. The Hunts’ experience reminds me of a heartbreaking story several years ago 0f a Pennsylvania couple, William Fresch, 85, and his …

Family Affairs: Do Your Kids a Favor

This is a guest post by Bart Astor. The other day I saw an ad with the headline, “Do your kids a favor.” It went on to say, “You checked for monsters under her bed, sent her to the best school, and helped her buy her first car. Now, do her one more favor.” That favor involves making plans in advance and communicating your wishes to your children. The ad, for a funeral home, takes a subject people don’t like …

Helping Older Loved Ones Cope With Disaster

In a recent conversation with the AARP Oklahoma state director, Sean Voskuhl, about the tornadoes in Moore, Okla., and throughout the state, I related my concerns about the older adults and their caregivers affected by the disasters. “In a matter of minutes, thousands of lives were changed forever as a result of the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma in May. The path of destruction and loss of life left by these storms has been heartbreaking,” he told me. “We remember the lost, pray for the …