Celebrating the Contributions of AARP Volunteers

As we kick-off National Volunteer Week, what words come to mind when you think about volunteers? Caring? Dedicated? Selfless?  Perhaps all of the above? I’ll add two more . . . absolutely essential. Every year, close to 60,000 volunteers contribute their time, skills and energy to AARP activities across the country. They expand our reach and power our social mission agenda, helping older Americans live their best lives. Simply put, we couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers. There’s …

Bipartisanship: Hard to see, but still alive

We certainly are living in very divisive times. On the big issues of the day, party and ideological lines are drawn with little, if any, common ground. And, the collegiality of Congresses past – the “disagree without being disagreeable” comity – seems like something for the history books. But is that really the whole story? Back in December, I spent some time with a group of senior congressional staff. There was nothing specific on the agenda, just a nice end-of-year …

A Family Caregiver Holiday Story: From Practical Joke to Empowerment

For family caregivers, the holidays can be a time of added stress and chaos, but they can also be a time of joy — and humor. Catherine, a family caregiver for her sister Lisa, shares: “Lisa, my little sister, has severe cerebral palsy. She has no verbal communication skills and is total-care (wheelchair and hospital bed bound). She loves the holidays more than anyone I know. As a teenager, I would take her shopping at Christmas time and help her …

Caregiving Across State Lines: 45+ States Pass Law to Help

Imagine you care for your 90-year-old mother with dementia. She lives with you in your Georgia home. You help her with bathing and dressing, drive her to the doctor, cook her meals, manage her medications and do anything else she needs. Last year you were appointed her legal guardian by the state of Georgia to help manage her finances and make decisions for her about health care and more. Your mother needs a special heart procedure, only available in a …

Family Caregivers Say ‘Thank You, Nurses’

During National Nurses Week (May 6–12, 2016), we celebrate nurses. I say, let’s celebrate nurses every day! Across the country, these hardworking professionals help us get and stay well, and provide comfort and care when we’re at our most vulnerable. In my experience, they do this with incredible skill as well as a smile. When caring for my mom and pop, nurses were lifesavers for my parents and me. One in particular, Nurse Sue, became more like a member of …

It’s in Giving That We Receive

It was a few days before Christmas when our family got the news that Mom would be in the hospital for the holidays. Family caregiving can be tough enough, but somehow it is a bit tougher when your loved one is in the hospital. My siblings and I sprang into action to develop a list of people who could visit Mom in the hospital on Christmas. We thought of presents like a new robe and slippers, a hair appointment when …