Let’s Give Caregivers the Support They Deserve

You get up, get dressed, cook breakfast, make bag lunches for the kids, drop the kids off at school, rush to work, prepare for a big meeting, call to check in on your mom during lunch, go to your meeting, schedule your mom’s next doctor’s appointment, race to the pharmacy after work, drop off mom’s meds on your way home, cook dinner, help the kids with their homework, check in on mom again, and – finally – go to bed. …

Adult Day Care Benefits Caregivers, Study Shows

If Mom or Dad has dementia, using adult day services (ADS) just twice a week can reap surprising psychological and physical benefits for family caregivers. Yes, caregivers. According to a new Pennsylvania State University study, ADS can reduce caregivers’ emotional distress and may even protect against illness. It turns out that a hormone in the body produced by the adrenal gland, DHEA-S, gets depleted when you’re under chronic stress – and caregiving is unquestionably stressful.  The study suggests that ADS probably gives …

Living With Dementia and Caregivers: So Many Unmet Needs

Call me naive, but I didn’t realize that as many as 70 percent of the 5.4 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia are cared for by family and friends. A four-year Johns Hopkins School of Medicine study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined the unmet needs of people with dementia (PWD) living in the community (as opposed to long-term care) and their family caregivers. Researchers wanted to determine if there were a lot of unmet needs (an …

Ralph Waite: Patriarch of ‘The Waltons’

In the early 1970s, Ralph Waite, who passed away on Feb. 13 at age 85 in Palm Desert, Calif., already had a solid acting career on Broadway when he was offered a role in a new series. It was to play the father in a rural family who made it through the travails of the Great Depression by sticking to their simple, homespun virtues. It didn’t sound that appealing to Waite, who was accustomed to more challenging, edgy stage roles. …

It’s Not Easy Being in a Relationship with a Caregiver

Editor’s note: We asked Bill Carter, the longtime companion of AARP’s caregiving expert and blogger, Amy Goyer, to write about being in a long-distance relationship with a full-time caregiver. My relationship with Amy began seven years ago. At the time she was a busy professional working in Washington, D.C., and her parents were enjoying their retirement in Phoenix. Since I live in northern Maryland, our relationship had to be a long-distance one from the beginning. However, we thoroughly enjoyed each other’s …

Resolutions poll: Are you keeping your goals?

It’s February of a new year, and for many that means starting to see some results from those January resolutions. And for some others…perhaps it means starting to slip on those January resolutions. How have you guys been doing? I don’t do resolutions myself, and somewhat to my surprise, I am not alone. In fact, I’m in the majority! According to an AARP survey we conducted in December, only 37% of US adults say they set goals at the beginning …