Caring for Mom Shouldn’t Mean Losing Your Job

The phone rang one day when I was at work. It was my mom. “Come right away, Elaine, we need you,” she said. Mom had just driven Pop to the emergency room. I knew Pop must have been very sick, because Mom hadn’t driven a car in years. So I talked to my boss and headed straight for the airport to find the first flight home. After a week-long stay in two hospitals, Pop recovered from pneumonia only to learn …

‘There Will Be No Retirement for Me.’

Meet Jeff and Capi Saxton. Jeff is a bookbinder and Capi manages a small fabric and sewing supply store. Now in their 50s, they’ve found it hard to save for retirement. “There will be no retirement for me,” Jeff says. “I’ll always have to work.” Jeff and Capi are not alone. In fact, the average working-age household has only $3,000 saved for their future. And if you have anything at all saved, you’re ahead of the curve — 45 percent …

The Three R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and…Retirement?

Crisp autumn air reminds me of my elementary school days in Upstate NY – and of my Mom’s hard work and dedication. My Mom worked the “vampire shift” at Tommy Tucker bakery – injecting doughnuts with jelly from 9 at night to 5 in the morning.  She’d arrive back at home in time to wake my brother, sister and me, cook a hot breakfast and send us off to school.  And, every Friday on her pay day, she’d take us …

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 …

Rising Utility Rates Put Seniors at Risk

As we enter the heart of summer, the temperature isn’t the only thing on the rise — utility bills are increasing, too. For seniors especially, keeping cool in these hot summer months isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity for health and safety — one that can be hard to afford for some. As my colleague Joan McCarty of AARP New York simplifies it, “every extra dollar that goes to a utility bill is a dollar less for food and …

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 …