Moments That Keep Caregivers Strong

This week, like so many others, I was deeply touched by a precious moment — captured on video — between Georgia resident Kelly Gunderson and her 87-year-old mother, Daphne, who suffers with Alzheimer’s disease. As mother and daughter converse, lying side by side in what appears to be a hospital bed, Daphne recognizes her daughter — for the first time in a long while. Having been a family caregiver myself, I know moments like this keep us strong and help …

How 17 Siblings Scored a $20 Million Jackpot

Can you plan to win the lottery? Judging from the amazing story of the Endreson family’s $20.1 million bonanza in the New Jersey Lottery, the answer just might be yes. The family’s lottery pool - originally conceived by matriarch Flossie Endreson, who died in 2004 at the age of 85 – finally paid off big when her 17 surviving children won the Pick-6 Lotto on a quick-pick game board purchased for $1 at a 7-Eleven in Fork River, N.J. >> Get travel …

Family Caregivers at Work

Through the years, I’ve had to take time off from work to care for my mom and pop. And I’ve always been grateful that I worked for an employer that allowed me to take sick leave or to telework in order to be there for my parents. But I know I’m one of the lucky ones. Today, millions of American workers have no paid or unpaid sick leave. Each day they face loss of pay – or loss of their jobs …

She Might Be (Healthy) Soul Food’s Biggest Champion

If you’re celebrating National Soul Food Month and Juneteenth this month, you’re probably well acquainted with crispy fried chicken, ham hock-laden collard greens, smothered pork chops and gooey macaroni and cheese. But what about wheat sautéed tilapia salad, grilled salmon cake panini, black-eyed pea dip and roasted green beans? In the eyes of restaurateur Vonda McPherson, that’s soul food, too. The chef and owner of Vonda’s Kitchen in Newark, N.J., is on a mission to make fresh and organic a …

States Start Shifting Focus to Help Seniors Live Independently, at Home

“We need to ‘spring’ your mother,” Pop, who loved prison movies, told me over the phone while asking me to come home that weekend. Mom had been in a rehabilitation center for two weeks following a bad fall and a hospital stay. Both she and Pop were ready for her to go home. My mom and pop, like most Americans, wanted to stay in their home and community as they aged. Pop became the primary family caregiver for Mom, and …

Don’t Hang Up on Landlines Just Yet

As a family caregiver to Mom and Pop for many years, I know reliable technology can mean the difference between life and tragedy. Yet, in states across the country, phone companies that provide landline service are trying to force residents to switch to a new wireless phone option – one that does not work with many medical monitoring devices, like pacemakers and defibrillators, home security systems, and sometimes even 911. In New Jersey, for example, the phone company doesn’t want …