Green Peace: The Healing Power of Parks for Young and Old

One of my very best friends died three years ago. He happened to be my grandfather, who was 96 years old. He was ready. It was time. But it wasn’t easy. I missed him. It took me months to delete the calendar alert I’d set up to ping me every day at 11:20 a.m., a reminder to stop what I was doing and “Call PO9,” short for Pop Pop. (As a kid, when I was learning to write, I accidentally addressed …

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 …

Feeling Alone as a Caregiver? Build a Backup Team

One of the most common questions I get from overwhelmed caregivers is, “How can I get my family members to help me more with caregiving?” My advice: We can make ourselves crazy trying to change other people. We need to accept what they will and will not do, and think more broadly about who else can fill the gaps. As a primary caregiver for my parents and other family members, I’ve found that I need different kinds of assistance. Some …

Advice to Help Your Kids Get the Most From College

A recent family party celebrated a first-born child heading off to college. As the evening wound down, relatives gathered around the picnic table and offered advice to the college freshman, ranging from “Study hard but have some fun” to “Call your mom occasionally.” These suggestions were especially interesting in light of the “Is college worth it?” debate that has developed post-recession. Last spring Gallup released the result of a survey of 30,000 college alumni that found six elements common to …

28 States + 34 Bills Passed = More Support for 22 Million Family Caregivers

Every day we hear from family caregivers like Marcus, Tish and Iris about the challenges they face helping their older loved ones remain at home — where they want to be. Marcus: “Having a full-time job and coping with Mom’s illness has got to be one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever had to do. She is my light and my darkness all at the same time.” Tish: “I hope we have my mom for many more years, but …