A Message of Love, Hope and Acceptance

Caregiving is not only a choice but a responsibility to those you cherish and who have showed you love throughout your life. Providing care for someone is simply a selfless act of compassion for someone who can no longer manage for themselves. During this season of love we applaud you for the giving of yourself to someone you care about.

Caregiving can be a big job. For many it often requires juggling not only the care of the person you are caring for, but your own life as well. Caregivers typically receive no extra pay, not that they would accept it, and no extra time in the day for the added duties and responsibilities they take on.

Dan Gasby, the husband of the well-known restaurateur B. Smith, knows all too well what it takes to manage not only his life but also the life of the woman he loves so dearly.

A few years ago, Dan found himself thrust into the job of  full-time caregiver for his wife due to an early onset of Alzheimer’s. Over the years Dan and B. were partners in love, business and in life. Then things changed. He had to suddenly shift from managing the B. Smith brand to caring for the woman he instantly fell in love with 25 years ago.

Dan’s story is probably not very different from that of any other caregiver. Every day, thousands of people confront the reality of becoming a family caregiver. It often starts with scheduling and attending doctor appointments, conducting daily errands and managing finances. As these roles expand you find it becomes a major responsibility and commitment of time.

In particular, African Americans face unique challenges as caregivers. Research shows they devote 34 percent of their income, are more likely to spend over 21 hours per week providing care, sometimes have to leave the workforce to provide full-time care, and have a significant financial burden on households that have lower average incomes.

Like many caregivers, Dan Gasby has a story that chronicles his caregiving journey. Join the Make Your Mess Your Message webinar, Monday, Feb. 27, 7 to 8 p.m. ET, to learn how he found patience and his purpose as a family caregiver. He will answer your questions live and share how he’s working with the African American community to fight Alzheimer’s. Register now to hear this wonderful love story and you could win a copy of Dan and B. Smith’s inspiring book Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s. No purchase or attendance necessary to participate. Legal residents of the 50 United States (and the District of Columbia) age 21 and older who register for the webinar are eligible to win. The book contest ends March 15.

To enter and for Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, visit http://states.aarp.org/2017-make-your-mess-your-message-sweepstakes-final. If you have recently become a caregiver or are in need of additional resources, get a copy of AARP’s Prepare to Care guide and visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center to get expert advice and resources for your senior-care needs. Looking for local resources? Check out AARP’s Local Caregiver Resource Guides.

Can’t make this webinar? Register and a link will be sent to you when the webinar is complete so you can check it out later. Also, you can access recordings of previous webinars through the “Events” tab and choose  Recorded Webinars.

AARP helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities , strengthens communities and fights for and equips Americans 50 and older to live their best lives. Discover all the ways AARP can help you, your family and your community at AARP Black Community , and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter .

Photo: AARP

Also of Interest

Important Resources for Caregivers

The New Faces of Caregiving

Caregivers Doctor Visit Trips

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