How One Community Supports Its Hidden Heroes, Family Caregivers

As I drove from Billings, Mont., to Sheridan, Wyo., I saw a sign for “Buffalo 36 miles.” Then it occurred to me that something felt strangely familiar. I grew up in a town called Lockport, about 29 miles from Buffalo, N.Y. So I researched a bit more. Sheridan has a population of 17,800; 20,000 live in Lockport. Sheridan gets about 72 inches of snow a year; Lockport posts a competitive 69 inches. And though my hometown doesn’t have mountain ranges, …

Family Caregivers, Like Superheroes, Need a Break

“I’m so tired, even my health has gone down due to stress. I love my mom … but with my health issues, all I do is cry alone. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning, can’t breathe … nothing seems OK.” —Ruby Ruby is one of 42 million family caregivers across the country who provide an invaluable resource in caring for an older loved one. Many are on call 24 hours a day – just like a superhero. They serve as accountant, …

39 States and Counting: Caregiving Across State Lines

I was a long-distance caregiver for my parents for nearly 15 years. Through illness, surgery and rehabilitation, I helped them stay out of institutional care, like a nursing home, and instead remain at home - where they wanted to be. During this time, I purchased my house on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with my parents in mind – hoping that Mom and Pop could come to the Cape from New York, enjoy time by the seashore, and get some rest and …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Parents are serving “smash cakes” for youngsters to destroy at their birthday parties. (Learn more at Today) 2. About 1 in 5 Americans – some 57 million in all – live in multigenerational family households. (Learn more at AARP) 3. A Chinese woman takes her 88-year-old grandma with her to work every day, sometimes on her back. (Learn more at Daily Mail) >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter  4. Beetles killed a …

Entire Town for Sale: $1.5 Million

A whole new world - well, at least a town you can truly call your own – awaits you in Aladdin, Wyo. For $1.5 million, you can buy the town lock, stock and barrel: 30 acres and 15 buildings, including a 118-year-old general store. Empty-nesters Rick and Judy Brengle are selling the tiny community in far northeastern Wyoming that they bought 28 years ago. “All our kids had gone to college, so my husband bought me a town,” Judy Brengle told …

Sometimes Family Caregivers Need a Break

Every day for eight years, my Pop provided hands-on care for my mom, who faced a number of physical challenges.  At age 90, Pop was still helping Mom out of bed into her wheelchair, bathing and dressing her, making the meals, and doing the dishes, laundry and anything else that needed to be done. A few times a week, Pop would get out of the house for a trip to the grocery store and a few staples like bread, milk …