It’s in Giving That We Receive

It was a few days before Christmas when our family got the news that Mom would be in the hospital for the holidays. Family caregiving can be tough enough, but somehow it is a bit tougher when your loved one is in the hospital. My siblings and I sprang into action to develop a list of people who could visit Mom in the hospital on Christmas. We thought of presents like a new robe and slippers, a hair appointment when …

Caregivers Are Key for This Breast Cancer Survivor

Angela Thornton, a quintessential “people person,” has always loved the company of friends and family. She bakes cakes from scratch and cooks old-fashioned soul food recipes, always enjoying entertaining at her home in Washington, D.C. But Angela, a 55-year-old minister and author, never really knew how much she needed the love of friends and family until last March. That’s when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Visit AARP Breast Cancer Learning Center » “As strong as I am, as much …

Free Film Screenings for National Caregivers Month

I’m pleased to report that many AARP state offices are hosting free screenings across the nation next month of The Theory of Everything, the 2014 film about astrophysicist Steven Hawking’s early struggle with ALS. It’s part of AARP’s efforts to highlight November as National Family Caregivers Month, in conjunction with the organization’s I HEART CAREGIVERS initiative. (Check with your AARP state office to find out if there is a screening near you.) It’s a wonderful film, but if you’re a …

Help! My Loved One Can No Longer Manage Her Finances

Jennifer had recently relocated to Wisconsin. When she went home to visit Grandma Jeanne and Grandpa Bill, she realized things were bad. “There was an overdue bill on the counter, fruit flies in the kitchen, decaying boxes full of carryout in the fridge, and my grandpa, who had always been overweight, was looking downright thin. I was shocked,” Jennifer shared on AARP’s I Heart Caregivers. Photos: A week in the life of a family caregiver » “Long story short my grandma …

Teenage Caregiver Helped Father as He Battled Cancer

This year I had the honor of meeting Kyllian, a young New Jerseyan who, as a teenager, was a caregiver for her father. Throughout his battle with cancer, she would come home after high school every day to care for him. Her dad lost his battle to cancer a few years ago, but Kyllian’s passionate advocacy for family caregivers burns brightly. She is now in her early 20s, and her youth caregiver group is among the many supporters of the …

Thank You, Family Caregivers, for Your Labor of Love

En español | This Labor Day, I want to take a moment to recognize the 40 million Americans who perform a great labor of love every day caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones.  While they wouldn’t have it any other way, family caregivers often have a big job. Some are on call 24-7 and often they can’t even take a break. “One day my mom became ill and my life changed in a moment, I knew I …