When the Caregiver Doesn’t Take Care of Herself

It’s a subtle thing. It happens bit by bit…it creeps up and then one time too many of lifting the wheelchair into the trunk and-BAM! -it smacks me flat, usually at the most inopportune time.That’s what happened to me last week when my back screamed, “Stop!”  I have a history of back problems, but my back hasn’t flared up this badly in about 10 years. The timing couldn’t be worse.  We are packing up my parents’ senior living apartment and …

Caregiving, When Everything Hurts

A week ago, I visited my Pop Pop for his 96th birthday. I brought a big sign with me, with dozens of messages from people all over the country – family in Indiana, friends in Mississippi, Twitter followers from Boston and D.C. and Kansas. Even Arthur, who I introduced in my first post here, got in on the surprise. “How ya doin, pal?” he wrote. I figured my grandfather, the best keeper-in-toucher I know, would get a kick out of …

Formula for Weight Loss: Support + Science = Success

The novel notion that friends make friends fat made news when researchers analyzing data from the Framingham Heart Study found evidence that “clusters of friends appeared to ‘infect’ each other with obesity, unhappiness and smoking.” At the same time, the researchers found that good habits, such as quitting smoking, being trim and being happy passed “from friend to friend almost as if they were contagious viruses.” These groundbreaking observations were based on a long-term study established in 1948 by the …

5 Ways Volunteering Can Help You Decide Who To Give Money To

This is a guest blog post from Reed Sandridge.  Sandridge lost his job in 2009 and did the unthinkable – he started giving away $10 a day to complete strangers!  He captured the story of every recipient at www.yearofgiving.org.  A frequent writer and speaker on volunteering and micro-philanthropy, Sandridge lives in our nation’s capital. We get asked all the time to help support all kinds of organizations.  From the canvasser on the street asking you to donate to Planned Parenthood …

AARP, Creating a Caring Community

This past week, my son SJ proclaimed he needed someone to shag baseballs for him. I’m not sure what that means, but his father Sean, happily agreed to go along on this outing. That evening Sean expressed that he hadn’t lost his old form (he was drafted by some baseball team), and he exclaimed with great pride it felt good to get out there and toss the ball around with SJ. However, the next morning, the story was a little …