Everyone Needs a Break Sometimes—Especially Family Caregivers

Respite is one of the most pressing needs of families and friends who take on a caregiving role. The need for caregiver supportive services — including respite care — is only going to rise as the U.S. population ages. Respite care provides temporary relief from the daily stress of caregiving, such as living with and caring for a grandfather with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. The purpose of respite care is to give the family caregiver time away — to get a …

New Book Helps Caregivers Care for Themselves

Like so many other family caregivers, I often place my own care on the back burner because I’m focused on the immediate needs of those I’m caring for. But that self-neglect eventually catches up with me — sometimes dramatically. I share one eye-opening experience in my new book, Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving. An excerpt: I lay there wide awake in the roll-away bed, springs from the mattress poking me between the ribs. My chest felt tight, my heart was pounding and I struggled to breathe. I …

A Caregiver’s Guide to Staying Sane

“How do you stay sane?” That’s the question a reporter asked me recently at the National Press Foundation after a talk I gave about being a family caregiver. As blunt as it sounds, it was a very good question. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I have been caregiving for nearly 35 years, the past six at a very intensive level. During that time I’ve worked full time; traveled a great deal; written two books; maintained a long-distance …

Adult Day Services: A Model of Person- and Family-Centered Care

A recent study found that more than a quarter million participants attend an estimated 4,800 community-based adult day service (ADS) centers in the U.S. Although most participants are older people, more than one-third of ADS participants are younger than 65. Nearly one in three ADS participants has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. ADS centers provide coordinated and reliable services and supports. Services for participants include social activities, meals, personal care (such as help with toileting), a limited array …