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 …

A Family Caregiver Love Story

“The person you’ve lived with and cared for, you’re now caring for them differently. And I consider that an opportunity…” More than half a century ago, Don and Elvira met while teaching school in a little town in Kansas. They built their life together, moving to Colorado, raising two daughters, and now have two grandchildren. Today, their love story continues in a new way — with Don as Elvira’s family caregiver. “We discovered she had dementia. I did not know …

Family Secrets Can Kill

Among the more shocking statistics about domestic violence is that African American women die at the hands of a spouse or family member much more often than men or women of other races. Domestic violence happens year round, so let’s remain aware of the signs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, “African-American women are more likely to be victimized by an intimate partner than are white women, and they are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than …

Caring for Mom Shouldn’t Mean Losing Your Job

The phone rang one day when I was at work. It was my mom. “Come right away, Elaine, we need you,” she said. Mom had just driven Pop to the emergency room. I knew Pop must have been very sick, because Mom hadn’t driven a car in years. So I talked to my boss and headed straight for the airport to find the first flight home. After a week-long stay in two hospitals, Pop recovered from pneumonia only to learn …

A Millennial’s Musings on Leaving the Nest … Again

At 32, I didn’t expect to move into my mom’s basement. I also didn’t expect to miss it so much, now that I’m gone. I wrote about my living situation in October. My boyfriend, Joe, and I were just back from Thailand, where I finished my master’s degree and he taught at a university. With our belongings locked in storage, we — yes, both of us — moved in with my mom while we searched for jobs and found our …