Be Creative! Keep Your Family Strong Year Round

With all the family vacations, reunions, weddings, kids home from school and just plain family fun, next to the holidays, the summer is probably the best time of year for family gatherings. The role of families in our lives are immeasurable for the support, security and happiness they bring. Yet, we often hear negative statistics on the need to strengthen the black family. In our families, we’ve learned how to make situations work. Here’s some basic wisdom from black parents, …

Making Caregiving Across State Lines Easier

Imagine you’re a caregiver for your mom, who lives in Oregon. You, however, live in North Carolina. As your mother’s health declines, you become her legal guardian in Oregon, making decisions about her property, medical care and living arrangements. The process of becoming your mom’s legal guardian was not only time consuming but costly. Now your mother wants to move to North Carolina to be closer to you. North Carolina won’t recognize a guardianship order from Oregon, so you will …

The Heroes Who Care for Our Heroes

As the Fourth of July approaches, Americans from coast to coast are preparing for barbecues, parades and fireworks as we celebrate our country’s birthday — and our independence. At this time of year, I like to take a moment to recognize our patriots — the veterans who have fought to keep our country safe and free. I also think about another group of heroes, the family caregivers — spouses, parents, siblings, adult children and others — who care for our …

A Caregiver’s Guide to Staying Sane

“How do you stay sane?” That’s the question a reporter asked me recently at the National Press Foundation after a talk I gave about being a family caregiver. As blunt as it sounds, it was a very good question. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I have been caregiving for nearly 35 years, the past six at a very intensive level. During that time I’ve worked full time; traveled a great deal; written two books; maintained a long-distance …

Bard Revisited

Readers everywhere, myself included, laughed, cried and just plain enjoyed Al Martinez’s wonderfully written and insightful blogs. Al’s wife, Joanne, now shares memories of the more than 65 years she and “The Bard of L.A.” spent together. Sometimes an ordinary moment transforms into a pivotal one. So it was when my husband, Al Martinez, met an imaginary field of daffodils. More than seven decades before he passed away in January, Al and his fellow fourth-graders were supposed to give speeches. Al …

Pop’s Critical Role as Caregiver During Mom’s Brain Surgery

This weekend we all had the opportunity to celebrate our fathers. As I remembered my Pop — a funny, hardworking, unselfish man — I thought about his devotion to my mom, especially during their later lives when he was her primary caregiver. He shouldered huge responsibilities that I think weighed heavily on his mind. I remembered the time, several days before Mom had brain surgery, Pop opened his wallet and handed me a small piece of paper. “It’s the anesthesia …