Nov 062012
 
The First Lady Caregivers

This blog is dedicated to three of our First Ladies who have led the crusade for caregivers: Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan and Rosalynn Carter.  All three are passionate advocates for our nation’s 65 million caregivers because they have taken the caregiving journey themselves. Hillary Clinton – The Congressional Caregiving Champion It was a poignant moment when I read last November 1 that Hillary Clinton had lost her 92-year-old mother, Dorothy Rodham.  Poignant for two reasons: [...]

Oct 192012
 
Choosing to Accept the Changes Dementia Brings

Choice is a luxury and usually a gift.  As a caregiver to a loved one, the absence of choice is a difficult concept to grasp when you are accustomed to the illusion of choice and control in your life. It is earth- shaking to have circumstance thrust upon you, pushing you towards decisions that may go against your grain. – Tania Richard My mother was diagnosed with dementia in the summer of 2011.  At the [...]

Oct 152012
 
How Caregivers Can Use Pet Therapy to Care for Their Loved One

My favorite cartoonist, the late Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame, wrote that, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” I wonder if he knew that happiness is just the start when it comes to enhancing the lives of older loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living, terminal patients such as those suffering from AIDS, children with special needs and even caregivers looking to improve their own health. Known as Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), there is a growing [...]

Oct 012012
 
Caregivers Who Are Changing the Game

Girls on the Gridiron – Taking the Fight Against Alzheimer’s to the Field People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. – Vince Lombardi   It is officially fall and fall means football season – fans, cheerleaders, Friday night lights, afternoon tailgaters, Monday Night Football.  When we think of football – we think of the gladiators of the gridiron.  However, one of the best football [...]

Sep 192012
 
I Am Taking Action Because Those Affected by Alzheimer’s Can’t Wait!

For the past eight days, I have been walking—a journey of more than 200 miles in total. I chose to make this trek for each and every one of more than 5 million people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease—and in particular, for my father, Lt. Col. Carl Rabon Stephens, who is a retired army chaplain. Why am I walking to Washington, D.C.?  Because we need to ensure the passage of $100 million dollars for Alzheimer’s research [...]

Aug 302012
 
Breaking Past Stigma & Finding Hope: Rob Epp's Story

Courage is the thing you need most and the hardest thing to get when you’re faced with Alzheimer’s Disease. Jordan, my partner of 17 years has younger-onset Alzheimer’s. His father and several grandparents had memory problems, so the diagnosis was not totally unexpected, but it is still hard to grasp that someone so young and vital is facing such a ravaging illness. Since Jordan’s diagnosis four years ago, we’ve both experienced the stigma that is [...]

Aug 302012
 
A Caregiver's Perspective on Stigma and Alzheimer’s

We spoke with Shirley Sillman, wife and caregiver of Bob Sillman, who was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s in 2007. Have you noticed stigma or jokes about Alzheimer’s in pop culture? Of course.  But we (society) tend to mask our fears and misunderstanding though humor.  I do it every day.  If I didn’t joke or laugh about it — especially with Bob — I would probably be a wreck.  Do jokes marginalize and ultimately stigmatize the [...]

Jul 302012
 
Jill Eikenberry & Michael Tucker Are Cooking Up a New Caregiving Recipe

Caregiving blogger Sherri Snelling spoke to actors Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker about their journey in caring for Jill’s mother who has dementia.  At the heart of their story is family and how “eat, pray, love” may be their new catchphrase when it comes to caregiving.  What struck me the most when I spoke to Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker – her partner in marriage, career and life – was that in all things they [...]

Jun 202012
 
With Endurance and Each Other, We Will Push Past the Finish Line in this Fight Against Alzheimer's

Today is the longest day of the year — and as evening sets, Alzheimer’s advocates across the globe are pushing themselves to the finish line of a 16-hour endurance relay to raise awareness and funds for the fight against Alzheimer’s. This event, Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day™, and the dedication it requires holds such significance for those who have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It symbolizes the endurance, love, patience and strength it takes to [...]

Jun 152012
 
Can Caregiving Make You Happy?

Whether your musical tastes run to the 70s television show with the Partridge family singing their theme song, C’mon Get Happy, or the 1950s song that inspired it, Get Happy, made famous by Judy Garland, the message is that happiness is in our hands — not something we are handed. When it comes to caring for a loved one, happiness may not be the first emotion that you would associate with a life role that [...]

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