Fighting for Family Caregivers

At 40 million strong, family caregivers are the backbone of our care system, helping parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home — where they want to be. The unpaid care they provide, valued at about $470 billion annually, can often be a 24/7 commitment. They take on tasks that can be stressful, exhausting and overwhelming. Many also juggle full- or part-time jobs, and some are still raising their families. As family caregivers face physical, emotional and financial …

AARP Film Features Caregiving Stories of Asian Americans

In June, AARP hosted the premiere screening for Caregiving: The Circle of Love at the University of San Francisco. The 14-minute documentary tells the powerful and inspiring stories of three Chinese American caregivers. MSNBC anchor Richard Lui’s segment, “Coming Home,” explains how he flies from New York to San Francisco every weekend to help care for his father, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Elizabeth Chun’s segment, “Sandwiched Caregiver,” is about her efforts to care for her mother and her grandchildren. And …

Saluting Our Veterans — and Their Unsung Heroes

Eleven years ago, Allen returned from Iraq, having survived an IED blast that inflicted both significant physical and emotional harm. This military veteran, husband, and father of two young children now faced a life-changing, long and tough road to recovery.  Standing by him, as she promised “in sickness and in health,” is his wife of 16 years, Chasity. For this full-time teacher and mom, the day Allen came home, injured and anxious, her life was changed dramatically. She was thrust …

‘Changing Season’: A Look at Transition on a Family Farm

You’d think after a lifetime of growing and harvesting peaches, you’d get sick of eating them. But the Masumoto family still loves peaches and serves them up every way imaginable. “I love peaches, almost literally [they’re] in my blood,” says David “Mas” Masumoto, 62, the farmer who has nurtured his parents’ peach groves. “We have 10 varieties and each has a window of ripeness for two weeks,” adds his daughter, Nikiko Masumoto. “So it’s like getting to see your best …

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 …