This Year, I’m Thankful for Family Caregivers

Nancy was caring for her mother and husband, raising four children, and working full time when she ended up in the hospital, suffering from exhaustion. It was then that she realized that she couldn’t help her loved ones unless she also took care of herself. Like Nancy, many family caregivers are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to helping their older parents, spouses and other loved ones, they work full or part time, raise children …

Celebrating Family Caregivers

November is National Family Caregivers Month and the perfect time to recognize the tens of millions of Americans who help older parents, spouses, adult children with disabilities, and other loved ones to live independently in their homes and communities. We are: Partners and spouses caring for each other Fathers caring for their aging parents Grandparents caring for their grandkids Parents caring for their children with disabilities Grandmothers taking care of their husbands, Next-door neighbors’ kids and grandkids taking care of …

A Blueprint for Success: Supporting Family Caregivers

As I flew into Biloxi, the storm clouds parted and a rainbow appeared. Maybe it was a sign that good things are ahead for Mississippi family caregivers and the parents, spouses and other loved ones they care for. Last week while visiting Biloxi, I had the privilege to share how caring for my Mom and Pop as they aged ignited my passion to reform the way we support family caregivers in the U.S. And while there is much to be …

New Bill in Congress Aims to Support Family Caregivers

Forty million Americans care for their older parents, spouses and other loved ones to help them live independently, at home, each and every day — I am one of them. We family caregivers help with bathing and dressing, transportation, providing meals, and much more. We even handle complex medical tasks like wound care or giving injections. Today, we are an essential part of the U.S. health care system. The unpaid care family caregivers provide is valued at about $470 billion …

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 …

For Family Caregivers, Love Is More Than Chocolate and Roses

Valentine’s Day may be over, but 42 million Americans continue to give their hearts each and every day. They are family caregivers who help parents, spouses, aunts, uncles and other loved ones to live independently at home, where they want to be. For these unsung heroes, love goes beyond chocolate and roses — and their labor of love means driving to doctor’s appointments, cooking, cleaning, helping bathe and dress their loved ones, managing medications, performing medical tasks and more. Gwen …