One Caregiver’s Regret: How the CARE Act Could Have Helped

In August of 2014, Mary’s mother Eartha was discharged from the hospital after a short stay — an event that would have lasting consequences. When Mary arrived at the hospital that day, Eartha was ready to go, dressed and sitting in a wheelchair with a list of medications on her lap.  Never given instructions on her mother’s new prescriptions, Mary missed out on a key piece of information — one of the medications was only meant to be given for …

The CARE Act: Helping Family Caregivers From Hospital to Home

In preparing Mom’s medication, my 90-year-old Pop would fill a syringe using the light of the kitchen window to see if the dosage was correct. He set up the nebulizer on a table with handwritten step-by-step instructions to remind him how to operate it. Today, millions of family caregivers like Pop perform complex medical tasks that at one time would have been administered only by medical professionals. 21 states and counting Two years ago, AARP proposed the idea of the …

Can Your Nurse Prescribe Medication?

As many family caregivers know, getting our parents, spouses or other loved ones from one place to another can sometimes be a challenge, especially if they have impaired mobility. When I was caring for my parents, taking Mom — who was confined to a wheelchair — to see the doctor was an all-day ordeal, even though his office was only a short distance away. We had to wait for the special transport van to come, wait at the doctor’s, and …

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 …

A Higher Utility Bill Before You Even Turn On the Lights?

Imagine this: You live on a fixed income and work hard to budget your money. You are very conscious about how you use your utilities. Yet, no matter how much electricity you use, your bill keeps going up. This scenario is far from hypothetical. Many utility companies across the country have a “customer charge,” or mandatory monthly fee, that remains the same — no matter how much electricity you use. This means when a utility company raises its customer charge, …

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 …