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 …

Siblings, Gratitude and Aging Parents

Whether you’ve had a lifelong sibling rivalry or been the best of friends, sibling relationships can be very difficult to navigate when caring for an aging parent. I am in contact with many family caregivers, and I often hear about conflict between siblings around caregiving decisions and responsibilities. Some are at such odds that they either don’t communicate or have a great deal of trouble doing so. Others say that a simple expression of appreciation would go a long way …

Wanted: A Family for Christmas

Christmas is traditionally a time when families gather. Sure, all families are imperfect; we all have disagreements and conflicts. But for most, the love is still there and holidays are special times. For many, however, there are no good memories of Christmas mornings or good-natured squabbles over holiday plans. There is, essentially, no family. CBS News recently aired this story about Jackie Turner, a student at William Jessup University, near Sacramento, Calif. Jackie was facing another Christmas with no family. …

America’s Next Great Challenge

In today’s Washington Post, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former Secretary Tommy Thompson made a strong case for a constructive, national dialogue on long-term care. AARP agrees wholeheartedly. Just this week, we joined with The Hill Newspaper to hold a briefing on long-term services and supports. We convened leaders from the federal and state levels to shine a bright light on the possible solutions and innovations that are happening across the nation. >> Visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center …