Adrienne Gruberg is a former family caregiver and founder of The Caregiver Space. After six years of caring for her late husband and mother-in-law she conceived of an online support space all caregivers could come to. Adrienne holds a BFA from Boston University. She founded AYA Creative in 1982, an award winning graphic design, marketing and advertising company. Her design training has helped shape the website and her personal and professional experience continues to inform and influence the caregiver centric support experience she has created at The Caregiver Space.
Alan D. Harris is a 60 year-old graduate student who writes short stories, plays, and poetry based primarily upon the life-stories of friends, family and total strangers. Harris is the 2011 recipient of the Stephen H. Tudor Scholarship in Creative Writing, the 2014 John Clare Poetry Prize, and the 2015 Tompkins Poetry Award from Wayne State University. In addition he is a Hospice volunteer, the father of seven, grandfather of seven, as well as a Pushcart Prize nominee in both 2013 and 2014.
Alexandra Axel was the first founding staff member at The Caregiver Space. As a New York native, Allie grew up people-watching and story-collecting, eventually pursuing her undergraduate degree from The College of New Jersey in sociology and creative writing. At The Caregiver Space, she worked with social media, graphic design, blogging, and program development to brand and grow an online community composed of, and focused on, caregivers. From the seedlings of an idea to the thriving community that it is today, Allie was there from the beginning to support the evolution of The Caregiver Space.
Allie enjoys writing poetry and short fiction, devouring books, biking, crafting, urban agriculture and imperfectly cooking. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her pup, Hen.
Alx hails from the City of Brotherly Love, where he lives with his awesome wife and two awesome kids. His background is in book publishing sales and marketing and he has a degree in Spanish language, literature, and linguistics (which is clearly the most useful degree for engineering happiness.) While not attached to a screen, Alx enjoys telling bad jokes and teaching magic tricks to his kids.
Amber Oliver is a graduating Senior at The City College of New York majoring in English and Creative Writing. She is also active on campus as a member of various student clubs such as the Creative Writing Club, Strive for College as a mentor for low-income students and secretary of the Black Student Union, responsible for communication and member outreach. She is also enrolled in the Publishing Certificate Program. She is currently interning at The Caregiver Space. She is interested in laughter, equality, music, literature, traveling, health, and of course, caregiving in all of its forms. She looks forward to entering the publishing field, after graduation.
Andrew Atkinson managing director of Ecuva is a UK ecommerce website with a vast product range covering health and well-being making life easier and higher quality. Get in touch with Andrew or visit their website today for more information.
Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., has been an artist, activist, and a sexualities educator for forty years.
She has passionately explored sexuality, sharing her experiences through making her own unique brand of feminist sex films, writing books and articles, visual art making, creating theater performances, and teaching. Annie has consistently championed sex worker rights and health care and was one of the pivotal players of the Sex Positive Movement of the 1980’s. She got her BFA at School of Visual Arts in NYC was the first porn star to earn a Ph.D..
She’s a popular lecturer whose work is studied in many colleges and Universities. For the past 12 years she has been collaborating on art projects with her partner, an artist and UCSC professor, Elizabeth Stephens. They are movers and shakers in the new “ecosex movement,” committed to making environmentalism more sexy, fun and diverse.
In 2013, Sprinkle proudly received the Artist/Activist/Scholar Award from Performance Studies International at Stanford, and was awarded the Acker Award for Excellence in the Avant Garde.
Arthur retells his story caring for his mother and father, covering many common issues caregivers face through first person narration, such as: hoarding, sibling conflict, parents unwilling to be helped, finances, communication with medical professionals, guilt, anxiety, stress and shame.
Ashley Huntsberry-Lett is the editor-in-chief for AgingCare.com External link, a site devoted to providing quality information and support for family caregivers who are looking after aging loved ones. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in English, and is currently working towards her Master of Arts in mass communication with a specialization in journalism at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications.
Beth Phillips lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 4 active and engaged teenagers. They recently welcomed Beth’s 78-year-old aunt into their home when her health and mental condition declined to a point that she was no longer able to care for herself. Although the family provides full-time, round-the-clock personal care and companionship, Beth is actively supported by her mother, 4 brothers and 3 cousins, all of whom were loved their entire lives by this wonderful woman.
“I’ve always thought the experience that caregivers have, the tips they learn, the hoops they jump through would be so beneficial to others but realize that when they’re in the thick of it, they’re often too tired, stressed or overwhelmed to record or share it. When it’s over, they’re too bereaved, vulnerable and exhausted to revisit the most demanding days parts of it. I decided to share my experiences in real time since my aunt’s health is not grave or intensely demanding but as a full-time caregiver, I experience many of the same issues as others.”
Bob Harrison was raised in the heart of the Redwoods in the far northwest comer of northern California. The little town of Crescent City, California was located near some of the world’s tallest trees, with the west shoreline being the Pacific Ocean. Bob spent most of his time fishing the two local rivers where some of the finest Steelhead and Salmon fishing is located. He was also well known up and down the north coast as an avid motorcycle racer, winning several hundred trophies, and one Oregon State title. Bob graduated from Del Norte High School with the class of 1966, then spent a one year stint at the College of the Redwoods, before having a strong sense of patriotism and joining the United States Air Force. After three years of service, Bob met Annie, the love of his life, and they got married in England in 1972. Bob’s love of country pushed him on to what turned out to be a very successful career, retiring in 1991. Bob’s last military assignment was Wichita, Kansas, a place he and Annie decided to call home. Together they developed and ran two very successful antique businesses until the stranger knocked on their door and changed their lives forever; “Because of Annie.”
Bobbi Carducci was an in-home caregiver for her mentally and physically ill father-in-law, Rodger, for seven years. Her blog, The Imperfect Caregiver, is written for women and men caring for loved ones in their home. She hopes the honest depiction of her experiences will be of comfort to caregivers now coping with the challenges she faced and that it will bring them a sense of peace knowing they are not alone when experiencing the doubt, frustration, and guilt that come with doing the most difficult job you will ever love.
Bobbi is a writer by profession, her book Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is due to be released by Open Books Press on July 26, 2014. Bobbi was the luncheon keynote speaker at the 26th Annual Pennwriters Conference in May 2013 where she also taught an intensive workshop on writing creative nonfiction.
Dr Catizone is the Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) and the Secretary of the Association’s Executive Committee. NABP is an international organization whose membership includes the state boards of pharmacy in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and eight provincial pharmacy regulating agencies in Canada.
The purpose of NABP is to: (1) assist the state boards of pharmacy in protecting the public health and welfare, (2) serve as an information and disciplinary clearinghouse for the interstate transfer of licensing among the state boards of pharmacy, and (3) provide model regulations in order to assist the state boards of pharmacy with the development of uniform practice, educational, and competency standards for the practice of pharmacy.
Over the span of two decades author, consultant, columnist and speaker Carol Bradley Bursack cared for a neighbor and six elderly family members. Because of this experience, Bradley Bursack created a portable support group – the book “Minding Our Elders:
Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” Her sites, www.mindingourelders.com and www.mindingoureldersblogs.com include helpful resources as well as links to direct support. Bradley Bursack is a newspaper columnist and a consultant who also writes on
caregiving and senior issues for several national websites.
CoPatient’s mission is to become the consumer’s trusted advisor for managing and minimizing healthcare expenses. CoPatient uses crowd-sourced data and a technology driven solution to identify billing errors and overcharges. By providing a personal Patient Advocate, CoPatient will help patients correct mistakes on their medical bills in order to start saving money right away.
As Director, Cori develops our comprehensive global communications and development strategy. She’s constantly tweaking our services based on data-driven marketing metrics and feedback from caregivers. She works to grow our community and build the reputation of The Caregiver Space by amplifying the message on social media, cultivating relationships with experts, creating organizational partnerships, and earning media coverage. She’s an active member of the community and regularly creates resources for Caregivers.
Cori joined The Caregiver Space after a decade of serving as a communications consultant for a number of nonprofit organizations and corporations furthering sustainable energy and urban planning solutions.
Currently, Cori is finishing up her MA in Corporate Communications from Baruch College at CUNY, and has a BA in Media Studies from Eugene Lang College at the New School University. She divides her time between Flatbush, Brooklyn, and downtown Toronto.
Danielle Page is the founder of thisisquarterlife.com because she was tired of Googling things like "tricks to assembling Ikea furniture," "how to figure out your 401k," and "can my sister be my plus one at a wedding?" Danielle's work has been featured on Woman’s Day, Your Tango, The New York Times, Thought Catalog and the Huffington Post. She's a proud cat mom of one.
Founded by Dave Kelso in 2014, Alzlive.com is a free, daily, digital lifestyle and news platform designed specifically for the unpaid family caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in the United States and Canada and is owned by Kelso Publishing Inc.
I am a spousal caregiver. I have had a lot of serious accidents in dangerous construction jobs. My recovery has not always been smooth but I did learn how my wife feels when she is bed bound for long periods. With similar experiences in our past I have a better understanding of what she needs to be comfortable. I also spent years involved in Christian ministry and the principles of Christianity apply so well to this life I lead now and give much needed stability when all other things are so often in the air.
Donna Thomson began her career as an actor, director and teacher. But in 1988, when her son Nicholas was born with severe disabilities, Donna embarked on her second career as a disability activist, author, consultant and writer.
Donna is the Special Advisor for Caregiving at Tyze Personal Networks and is the International Advisor to the PLAN Institute for Caring Citizenship. She is the co-founder of Lifetime Networks Ottawa, a PLAN affiliate and is a member of the Cambridge University Capability Approach Network. Donna is also an instructor at the Advocacy School (Ottawa, Canada), teaching families how to employ best practice political advocacy tools when advocating for care. Donna holds degrees in Fine Art (Theatre), Education and Theatre in Education. Donna’s interest in new modes of social engagement for marginalised families led her to sit on numerous boards, such as the London International Festival of Theatre, Women for Women International Leadership Circle and Dovercourt Community Association. Donna has spoken on disability and family wellbeing extensively, including at the London School of Economics, the Skoll World Forum, and the International Centre for Evidence in Disability.
Dorothy Saunders has been a caregiver for 40 years for her husband, who became a quadriplegic while in law school. They have two grown sons. Dorothy has led a spousal caregiver support group for 12 years, and is the Co-President of the Well Spouse Association, as well as the Co-Editor of WSA's newsletter, Mainstay.
Author, speaker, doctor and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich M.B.B.S. wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Dr Joe, The author of Dr Joe’s DIY Health, he writes for Medical Observer magazine, sits on the advisory panel of Prevention Magazine and is assistant clinical editor of Medical Forum. Dr Joe is seen on Channel 9, heard on radio 6PR Perth and 4BC. He is health ambassador for locally grown fresh potatoes.
He has written for numerous medical and mainstream publications and websites and is regularly sought for comment by the electronic and print media.
Dr Joe gives motivational and practical health talks for the general public and corporations on how to look and feel better. He publishes a newsletter and maintains a website and blog with information and commentary.
Previously Dr Joe held senior positions in the Australian Medical Association and sat on numerous industry and government boards. He has extensive corporate experience in the setting up and management of medical centres and in helping businesses maintain a healthy workforce.
He continues to see patients each week in general practice.
In 1985, Edward Jackowski founded Exude Fitness and changed the way we look at exercise. To date, Edward is the author of seven books on general fitness, motivation, weight loss and golf and has helped create, direct and produce 10 fitness videos/DVD’s and motivational CD’s.
The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism, and other related conditions or disorders. The task of searching for wandering or lost individuals with Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome, dementia or other cognitive conditions is a growing and serious responsibility. Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless man hours and thousands of dollars.
Emily is the community relations manager for the online MHA program External link (MHA@GW) and the online master of public health (MPH@GW) offered through the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University. She is passionate about all things health, from administrative and clinical topics to fitness and nutrition. In her free time, she enjoys powerlifting, cooking and exploring D.C.
I'm a New York City-based community organizer, communications strategist, and occasional writer.
I have worked at CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, where I was the Director of the Chinatown Tenants Union, and at the Center for Constitutional Rights in the Communications Department. Currently, I'm part of the digital strategy team at Caring Across Generations.
My writing has been in Gothamist, The Awl, Talking Points Memo, Left Turn magazine, the American Prospect, Labor Notes, Racialicious.com, Race Files, and the Austin American-Statesman. In 2013-2014, I was an Open City Creative Non-Fiction Fellow with the Asian American Writers Workshop.
Gloria Hoffner is a graduate of Temple University, a national certified activity director and activity consultant and a certified dementia practitioner. She is the author of Science for Seniors, published by Idyll Arbor Inc., a columnist for about.com and Creative Forecasting Magazine, and author of a series of booklet for caregivers with at-home activities on winter weather, holidays, rainforests and more at R.O.S. Therapy Systems.
Rochester resident Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance writer for 37 years, is the author of thousands of Internet/print articles, and 35 books. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Minnesota Coalition for Death Education and Support.
She is also a contributing writer for The Caregiver Space website, Open to Hope Foundation website, and The Grief Toolbox website. Harriet has appeared on more than 185 radio talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN.
A popular speaker, Harriet has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer’s, caregiving, and bereavement conferences. Her work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories.
All of Harriet’s work comes from her life. She is now in her 19th year of caregiving and cares for her disabled husband, John. For more information about this busy author, grandmother, wife, and caregiver please visit www.harriethodgson.com
Hello Heart is on a mission to enable people to be an active participant in their own health so they can live a happier, healthier life — every day. The Hello Heart app is the simplest way to monitor blood pressure and improve heart health.
We're changing home care for the better. Powered by compassion and strengthened by technology, Hometeam is moving home care forward, improving the lives of families and Caregivers. Hometeam provides clear in-home care solutions for every kind of family.
Isabella is an “emerging” caregiver for her immigrant parents. She is passionate about bringing concepts to practice and improving the US healthcare system for older adults, family caregivers, and vulnerable populations. She has studied human-centered design as a creative problem solving approach for sector-specific and cross-section solutions.
One of her most rewarding professional endeavors has been helping to build the online health insurance marketplace for District of Columbia residents and small business employees. Currently, she provides consulting services to health systems, nonprofit organizations, and governments. When not contemplating the intersections of healthcare systems, health aging, and the patient experience, Isabella likes to hike, camp, practice yoga, and explore caves.
Jean Lee, author of Alzheimer’s Daughter, lives with her husband in small-town Ohio, twenty minutes from anything. Although she worked full time while her parents were ill, she is now retired after twenty-two years of teaching elementary school. Her children are married with children of their own. Five grandchildren are her greatest blessings.
Jessica is the Founder and Ministry Leader of MDO Ministries. Jessica earned a BS as well as a Masters Degree in library science both from East Carolina University. She was a public educator and school librarian for over 16 years when God called her to a completely new challenge. For the next two years, she served Wayne Christian School as a classroom teacher and the school's first ever Advancement Coordinator. In September of 2013 God again called Jessica in obedience to move and trust Him completely. She presently serves as Coordinator of Undergraduate & Online Research for the Jerry Falwell Library as well as an associate professor for Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She along with her husband, Brian, continue to lead MDO Ministries full time. She is the mother of Taylor, her 11 year old daughter.
Audiologist Joan McKechnie, BSc Hons Audiology & Speech Pathology, works for UK based hearing aids vendor HearingDirect.com. Joan is registered with the United Kingdom’s Health Care Professions Council and has years of experience in the hearing aid industry.
Joanna Lillian Brown was in her late 30's when she became the hospice care coordinator, and a primary caregiver, for her 97-year old grandmother. When speaking with dozens of family members, work associates, and friends, she was surprised to learn that no one she knew had been with someone at the time of a loved one's death. During the final three months of her grandmother's life, she kept a journal of her thoughts and fears, as well as notes about special moments shared with her grandmother and family members. The experience of being with her grandmother at the time of her death was a deeply spiritual experience that removed her fear of death.
Eight years later, she and her spouse bought a home four houses away from her elderly parents to provide them with daily support. She was a primary caregiver for her father during the last two years of his life and was with him as he died. Again, the process of journal writing provided a path for reflection and comfort during the challenges of caring for a loved one.
Following her father's death, she provided daily visits to her mother, enabling her to stay in her home for another five years, until she had a stroke. For the last eighteen months of her mother's life, she provided direct care to her mother in a nursing home every evening, where she learned about the problems inherent in even excellent nursing care facilities. She was with her mother when she died at 4:00 am on May 7, 2008. Following her mother's death, Joanna reviewed her journals from prior years and began to wonder if her reflections could benefit someone who had not yet been a caregiver. A supportive writing coach encouraged her to continue writing, and the book Caring for Dying Loved Ones: A Helpful Guide for Families and Friends was written within a period of 20 months, based on journal entries, stories contributed by personal friends, and additional research.
Joanna Lillian Brown also provided hospice care to her earliest childhood friend, who died at the age of 54 from pancreatic cancer. She has been a caregiver or hospice caregiver to several members of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Northampton and Florence, Massachusetts, where she and her spouse, Jo Lower, have been members for 20 years. She has written and given eulogies for her mother, her father, and three close friends, as well as designing and participating in memorial services.
Throughout her years of caregiving, Joanna Lillian Brown has worked full time in the fields of alumni relations and development.
Jolene Philo is the daughter of a father with multiple sclerosis and the mother of a son born with a life-threatening birth anomaly. Philo is a former educator with twenty-five years of public school experience, the author of several books for caregivers and parents of children with special needs. She speaks about caregiving around the country and blogs about the caregiving and special needs at www.DifferentDream.com. She and her husband are the parents of 2 married children and have 4 grandchildren.
Jonah served as our Operations Director for two years. He holds a degree in Comparative Digital Communications and Happiness Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His intrigue in promoting well-being through new digital platforms pairs perfectly with the organizations goal of making online support for caregivers a reality. Prior to his time at The Caregiver Space, he spent seven years as a professional chef, baker and restaurant manager. He now happily resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Joy Johnston is an Atlanta-based digital journalist who began The Memories Project blog in 2012 after her father died of Alzheimer’s. Her essays have appeared in best-selling anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias.
I started my journey as a caregiver advocate ten years ago, when I made the difficult decision to move in with my father to be his part-time caregiver. At the time, we thought he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, but it never quite seemed to fit the symptoms and behaviors he was showing. Ultimately, we would receive a diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia, which was where my interest in the disease began. I am a hospice worker, bereavement counselor, caregiver advocate, LBD support counselor, and caremanager for my father. I am also a writer, whose main focus is writing about caregiving, dementia, aging, and end of life issues. In 2011, I published a memoir about my experiences with Dad; I maintain an award-winning blog; I have published essays in two anthologies; and have written articles for other websites. My hopes for this site are to bring together all the elements of my work and vocation in one place. I strive to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date resources and information, and the most helpful support and empathy to caregivers and people living with dementia. I invite you to investigate my site, check out the links, and read my award-winning blog, in order to find exactly the resource you are looking for.
When Judith’s parents became ill in 2007, even her reputation as a pragmatist, planner, and dutiful daughter (her father’s term) couldn’t prepare her for what lay ahead – a long list of concerns that included navigating an unfamiliar healthcare system, addressing financial and legal issues, dealing with stress, unexpected family dynamics, and ultimately making hospice arrangements.
That experience led her to write, The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide to Caregiving, part intimate recollection and part down-to-earth advice. Loaded with humor and not a few tears, it's geared towards adult children who find themselves taking on more responsibility for an aging parent’s well-being.
Judith also speaks on a variety of topics, including caring for older adults; dealing with grief and loss; the benefits of expressive writing for caregivers. Her presentations and workshops are appropriate for a wide range of businesses and organizations including civic associations, writer’s groups, women’s centers, health maintenance and healthcare facilities.
Described as a warm and engaging speaker, Judith excels at connecting with an audience through humor, personal knowledge and experience.
She can be reached through www.JudithDHenry.com
Judith Swartz has begun to publish wit and wisdom gathered along the path of life on this planet. Mothering nine children and providing advice when requested for over 30 grand and great-grandchildren, she is a student of life and her fellow man. Writing for years, A Stroke of Health is her first published work with the promise of others to follow: HeART of the Sale, A Stroke of Blessings, Hey, Ben Franklin, it’s me, grandma, and Life’s a Trip. Judi lives in Houston with a registered feral cat colony, and the memories of Bob and Linda.
Judy Fox is an artist. She was born in New York City in 1947. For twenty-five years she worked for a nonprofit educational organization helping with graphic design and overseeing the print production of books and magazines. Previous to that, she taught English as a second language and got seriously involved with Buddhist meditation practice. For many years she worked at retreat centers in the US and UK. This spiritual interest, sparked initially by Buddhist practice, has continued throughout her life.
Over twenty five years ago, she became the primary caregiver for her older brother who was dying of Aids and spent literally eight months by his side. From that experience, she understood the nature of caring for someone who you love deeply and because of her spiritual background she was able to gain a priceless perspective that helped so much during this very challenging time.
For the past five years, Judy has been helping to care for her 98 year old mom. She also started a blog site with her good friend Andrea Hurley called “When the Table Turns” where they write heartfelt philosophical essays on the care and love for their elderly moms. Recently they have expanded their contact with other caregivers and started a virtual caregiver’s circle. They are very excited about this as a way to share their experience and learn with others.
Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit news service committed to in-depth coverage of health care policy and politics. And we report on how the health care system – hospitals, doctors, nurses, insurers, governments, consumers – works.
KHN is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, Calif., that is dedicated to filling the need for trusted information on national health issues.
Karen Horneffer-Ginter has been practicing psychology and teaching yoga and contemplative practices for over 16 years. She has also taught graduate students and health care professionals, along with directing a university-based holistic health care program, and co-founding the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The aim of Karen's work is to reconnect people with the wisdom of their inner-life by reclaiming what gets lost amidst the busyness of day-to-day life: qualities such as stillness, self-care, creativity, joy, humor, gratitude, and compassion. Her intention is to support people in finding a sense of balance and sacredness in their lives.
Katherine Flannery Dering was the second of ten children. Her brother, Paul, was the eighth of the clan. Paul developed schizophrenia at age 16. Following the death of their parents, Katherine and her siblings became involved in trying to help their brother, and the care intensified when he developed lung cancer, as well. The title of her memoir comes from Paul's delusion and frequent assertion that he wasn't mentally ill; he'd been scalped, or he'd been shot in the head. The book, Shot in the Head, shares the experience of her large family's efforts to make his life better.
Katherine also shares her experience in an internet radio interview at http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/81293/schizophrenia-false-memories-family-memoirs-and-family-caregiving
Kelly is a poet, playwright and workshop facilitator whose chapbook “All These Cures,” won the 2014 Lit House Press poetry contest. Kelly’s poems and essays are published in dozens literary journals, including Poydras Review, Kindred, Pamplemousse, Tupelo Quarterly, and Milo Review. Her award winning plays are produced around the US and published by dramatic publishers. She produces the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights & Poets, held at Wellesley College, now in its 9th year. She’s a member of the faculty and Advisory Boards of two writing organizations she cares deeply about, The International Women’s Writing Guild, and The Transformative Language Arts Network. A former psychotherapist, Kelly’s training in psychodrama and Playback Theatre enliven her creative writing workshops with transformative energy. Her website is KellyDuMar.com. You can subscribe to her bi-monthly newsletter and receive a free copy of "Writing Truth & Beauty - A Guide to Using Your Photos for Poetic Inspiration."
Kelly Sheets started working with seniors right out of college. She has worked in acute rehab, skilled nursing, assisted living and home health. Along the way Kelly became a trained yoga instructor and teaches seniors classes twice a week. She has primarily worked in management and marketing in senior care. She is the founder of the TheSpunkyCaregiver.com, KellySheets.com and deeply believes that investing in, educating and empowering the people who work with our elders not only improves the lives of the elders but also of senior communities and businesses as a whole. Kelly is member of the Dementia Action Alliance which has the mission to help people live fully with dementia and the Author of Breathe: The Simple Guide To Better Breathing
Kenneth E Rupert received Board Certification from the International Board of Christian Coaches as a Master Christian Life Coach in 2012. He founded The Vita-Copia Group to offer life coaching focused on mentoring, encouraging, nurturing, and strengthening caregivers who provide care for a special needs child, a parent or spouse with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, a combat wounded veteran or any situation where caregiving is required.
Kenneth He has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a strategic data analyst, a project and program manager, and in various other strategic analytical roles. He is a Financial Peace University coordinator and has developed the Comprehensive Asset Management Program to assist caregivers in creating financial stability. He provides care for a child with disabilities and a father with Alzheimer’s. These experiences allow him to provide a unique perspective on assisting clients with challenging situations.
He is considered a thought leader by many in the business world and his innovative teaching style is widely sought after. His challenging messages go to the core of strategic personal development. He is a natural born leader who mentors, encourages, nurtures, and strengthens other men through his work with The M.E.N.S. Network – an organization designed to encourage men’s ministries to focus on relationships and not just programs.
He has written a number of books focused on personal development and financial management as well as several resources focused on spiritual growth and maturity. His writing challenges many to be intentional, engaged, and motivated in achieving positive, proactive, and permanent growth. Communicated with the skillfulness of a patient teacher, he seeks to impart his experiential and observational knowledge to his readers as well as his clients.
Always offering practical exercises in intellectual gymnastics and word-smithing, he infuses his writing with questions and statements that are designed to cause the readers to stop and think about the motivators, drivers, and passion and how these three impact their actions. In all things, he seeks to add value to the life of the reader an client.
I possess many titles: wife, mom, advocate, runner, Bruins fan, lover chocolate and Parrot Head. I believe you can conquer any challenge in this world with family, good friends and wine. I write about most of that and more while keeping my sense of humor in this life I never expected.
Kristen Sachs is a wife and mom living in Southern California. In July 2013, she became the primary spouse caregiver to her husband, Jeff, when he suffered a spinal cord injury in a diving accident. Jeff is now a ventilator-dependant quadriplegic, and together with their young daughter, they are learning to live a new life. Kristen’s blog, A New Dawn for Us, chronicles their struggles and triumphs on this journey of caregiving. It may not be the life they imagined, but they are doing our best to make it a life worth living.
Krystel Edwards is a senior English-Creative Writing major at The City College of New York. In addition to interning at The Caregiver Space she is also an Edward Koch fellow which is a fellowship that focuses on public policy and advocacy. She is in the CCNY Honors program as well as the Publishing Certificate Program. Throughout the years, she has participated in a variety of student clubs such as Strive For College where she served as a mentor for low-income students. Currently, she is volunteering at Isabella Geriatric Center, community-based organization in Washington Heights that aids in providing a home, rehabilitation, and excellent care for the elderly. She looks forward to joining the 2015 Teach For America Corps after graduation and learning more about how to have a positive influence in low-income communities.
Laura McCullough's most recent books are Rigger Death & Hoist Another, poems (Black Lawrence Press, 2013) and her edited anthology, The Room & the World: Essays on the Poetry of Stephen Dunn (Syracuse University Press, 2013). Her other books are Panic (winner of the Kinereth Gensler Award, Alice James Books, and a BOTYA finalist), Speech Acts (Black Lawrence Press), and What Men Want (XOXOX Press). Her first book of poetry was The Dancing Bear. Her second edited anthology, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race is forthcoming in late 2014 from University of Georgia Press.
She teaches full time at Brookdale Community College where she founded the Creative Writing Program, in the Sierra Nevada Low-residency MFA program, and in the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway Conference at Seaview, and has taught at the Richard Stockton College of NJ and at Ramapo College. She has been a finalist for the Brittingham and Felix Poetry Prize, the Isabella Gardner Award, and the Frost Place residency and has been awarded scholarships or fellowships from Sewanee Writers Conference, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Nebraska Summer Writers Conference, and others. Her essays, criticism, poems, creative non-fiction, and short fiction have appeared in Diode, Plume, Drunken Boat, The Georgia Review, New South, Guernica, The American Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, Pank, The Good Men Project, The Writer's Chronicle, Gulf Coast, Pedestal, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. She was the founding editor of Mead: the Magazine of Literature and Libations and currently acts as an editor-at-large.
By trade, I'm a 26-year veteran of local and state government. By heart, I'm a writer. My relationship with pen and paper began at the age of 10 with a poem about trees. "Trees are very pretty I like the way they blow And as I watch them day by day I find they grow very slow ..." I proudly handed the three-verse masterpiece to my fifth grade teacher who returned it to me with several red-ink corrections and not a word about my obvious genius with meter and rhyme. That triggered a love/hate relationship with editing that I carry with me today, but it didn't stop me from letting the words flow whenever the spirit moved me. Over the years, I've been most proud of stories that helped readers understand one another. During nine years as a journalist in the 1980s, I wrote human interest pieces that talked frankly but compassionately about what it was like to live as a quadriplegic in an able-bodied world or as a "boat person" who survived an ocean crossing to escape from a war-torn country. In 1994, after my schizophrenic/bipolar father died, I wrote and self-published a book to help others cope with the serious mental illness of a close family member. In 2007, my second foray into self-publishing was a metaphysical novel with both a humanitarian and an environmental message. Today, I'm sharing my most personal thoughts through this blog. I believe that one of the secrets to understanding someone is knowing who they hold in high regard. To that end, my heroes are Mitch Albom, John Denver, Robert Kennedy, my mother-in-law, Joan Millard Olson, and my mother, Joyce Metzger Samsel. Only one is among the living. The others are all resting safely in my heart.
Therapy is a practical and powerful way to overcome self-defeating thoughts, habits and behaviors and gain perspective on your life. As a therapist, I see my role as demystifying the process and helping you change through improved insight and focused behavior modification. I believe in a down-to-earth, open approach that is supportive, free of judgment and, at times, humorous. I have post-graduate training in cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, motivational interviewing and LGBTQ competencies and I regularly improve my technique through trainings, reading, research and feedback from clients. I am licensed mental health counselor in New York State and have been in the mental health field for over five years.
Lisa Hirsch is a popular blogger with a worldwide audience. She had a long, successful career in the fashion industry and had numerous articles published in the US, the UK, and Canada. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and has one loving son.
When Lisa Hirsch found out her mother, Ruth, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her love, appreciation, and caring for her mother was transformed. To Lisa’s surprise, it has brought her and Ruth closer together than they’ve ever been. My Mom My Hero tells the story of this mother-daughter relationship through a series of entries from Lisa’s internationally popular blog. Ultimately this is an uplifting and inspirational book for anyone who’s going through the difficult and often lonely ordeal of caring for a loved one who suffers from this devastating illness.
As our Community Manager, Liz focuses on The Caregiver Space's daily online happenings. She also works behind the scenes, fixing bugs and making sure the site delivers our members a clean and seamless community experience. Before coming onto The Caregiver Space, Liz served as a Community Manager in the health and finance industries. She holds an MA from New York University and a BA from George Mason University, and splits her time between Virginia and New York. Her passions include writing, music, and travel.
Margo Rose has been a fitness trainer for over 15 years and specializes in practical ways to manage loss, stress or disappointment. Margo Rose's book, Body Aware Grieving, A Fitness Trainer's Guide to Caring for Your Health During Sad Times is available on Amazon.
Miguel Guerrero is Director of Client Benefits at the American Elder Care Research Organization. The organization is dedicated helping families find the means to pay for senior care by providing objective information and interactive tools on its ad-free, easy to use and comprehensive website, http://PayingForSeniorCare.com. In this role, Miguel researches and writes about elder care financial assistance programs and cost saving technologies for the organization’s website and the blog, http://EldercareResource.blogspot.com.
Nicole Booz is the Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty. She has a passion for storytelling and connecting others through narratives of personal growth. In her free time, you can find her sipping iced coffee, planning her next great adventure, and reading any book she can get her hands on.
Phil spent 25 years as a specialist in catering and special events in Arkansas, then Florida, and ending up in California for 11 years. He was a Catering Sales Manager at a hotel and as a Wine Educator at a luxury winery in Napa Valley, CA.
For the last 3 years he has been a full time caregiver for his mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, back in Arkansas.
One thing hasn't changed over the years - Phil is also an artist.
Rabbi Phyllis Sommer has served Am Shalom as Associate Rabbi since 2003. She is a native of Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2003, and in addition to Am Shalom has served congregations in New Iberia, Louisiana and Billings, Montana. Rabbi Phyllis and her husband, Rabbi Michael Sommer, are the proud and loving (if sometimes harried) parents of four amazing children - David, Samuel Asher z"l, sister Yael, and baby Solly.
Rabbi Phyllis Sommer blogs at Ima on and off the Bima, where she discusses ins-and-outs of balancing her life as Rabbi, wife, and mother. After her son, Sam, was diagnosed with leukemia, she began blogging at Superman Sam. The Huffington Post named her one of their Influential Jewish Twitter users in 2011. She started the #36Rabbis to raise money for childhood cancer and #whatrabbisdo to shed life on the real roles and responsibilities of today's rabbis.
I am the Rabbi of Congregation Solel in suburban Chicago. I am also the author of Wisdom for People of All Faiths: Ten Ways to Connect with God. I write regularly for the Huffington Post, Beliefnet, and my personal blog.
As a writer and speaker, I have a passion for helping Christians learn about Judaism and the Old Testament in a way that deepens their faith and knowledge.
Rachael is a communications major in college, hoping to work in PR when she graduates from college this Spring. She loves to write and endeavors to use her writing as a means to help others. She believes in God, she believes in the strength of the human will and she believes the whole of humanity is one big family.
Rick Lauber is a former co-caregiver, established freelance writer and author of Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians (Self-Counsel Press). Rick’s book is available for purchase at national Chapter’s bookstores and online.
Voice Male editor Rob Okun, author of VOICE MALE: The Untold Story of the Profeminist Men’s Movement (2014, Interlink), served as both associate and executive director of the pioneering Massachusetts-based Men’s Resource Center for Change (1993-2008) where he also led men’s groups in a state-certified batterers’ intervention program. A lecturer, workshop leader and panelist at conferences, colleges and universities, his op-eds and commentaries have appeared in numerous newspapers and websites including the Boston Globe, Ms. online, Women’s eNews, Alternet, and Vday. His public radio commentaries have addressed issues ranging from men and violence to fathering. He is editor of the political art anthology, The Rosenbergs: Collected Visions of Artists and Writers (Universe Books, New York, 1988; 1993.) His essay, “Confessions of a Premature Pro-Feminist” appears as a chapter in the anthology Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex and Power (Routledge 2008). An equal rights Justice of the Peace officiating at weddings in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the country, Rob maintains a counseling practice in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Sarah, our Editorial Assistant, is studying Political Economics with a minor in Women's Studies at Barnard College. A Student Leadership Award recipient, Sarah has leveraged living with cerebral palsy to inspire others with her relentless work ethic, thoughtfulness and contagious laughter.
Savor Health offers a comprehensive range of nutrition services for people with cancer and their loved ones. Using the latest technology and research, Savor provides individually personalized nutrition solutions that meet each patient’s unique needs from prevention to survivorship. Services include individually curated information and resources, one on one nutrition counseling with oncology-credentialed registered dietitians and home delivery of meals tailored to individual needs and tastes. Savor is in the business of nourishing the body, mind and spirit of people with cancer. Cancer starves the body of nutrition. Savor Health uses nutrition to fight cancer.
As a ‘new’ senior, I am apparently entering my ‘golden years’ (of course we know what God thinks about gold – it’s paving material in Heaven). I’ve spent most of my adult life caregiving – from children, to husband, mother-in-law, mother, and now various friends. I’ve been a widow for 25 years, longer than I was married and have two married children in their forties but no grandchildren. Throughout my working life I have been a library assistant, ward aide in long term care, provincial government employee, and lastly, a Junior High School teacher (Gr 7&8, Home Economics and Science). I have had severe Osteoarthritis for many years and currently use a walker and City buses for transportation.Currently, I spend some time each week visiting friends and patients in long term care, taking in various reading and music materials to help make their day happier.
I am an author of eight books in four languages. LESSONS FOR THE LIVING: STORIES OF FORGIVENESS, GRATITUDE AND COURAGE AT THE END OF LIFE is my memoir of being a bedside hospice volunteer for six years while battling prostate cancer. My next book, LEANING INTO SHARP POINTS: PRACTICAL GUIDANCE AND NURTURING SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS will be published in March, 2012 by New World Library and focus on caregiving for loved ones who have a progressive or terminal illness.
At 31, I had two major roles. On-screen, I worked as a TV actor and, off-screen, I was wife to a brilliant, Sicilian-born chef, my husband Saro. It was an ideal life for the girl who had always dreamed of a life in the arts and who begged the last bite at the end of a delicious meal.In the restaurant business, a chef’s wife is known as a “kitchen widow” because their partners are lost to the demands of the restaurant business.
Yet the paths life puts before us are often marked with unexpected turns. Without any warning, Saro was diagnosed with a rare, life threatening bone cancer, leiomyosarcoma. The floor fell out from underneath us and a new life rose up to meet us. His career as a professional chef was over in a flash. In the course of a single afternoon, I took on a role familiar to millions of Americans, I became a primary caregiver.
We did what many people do when cancer hits, we put our noses down and prepared to fight the good fight. Initially, I thought we could merely will ourselves back into our old life with diet, meditation, love, and laughter. If we did all the “right” things, we’d find our way into a lifetime of tomorrows. Cancer would be a part of our narrative, but it wouldn’t define it.
I was partially right. Love and laughter are essential ingredients to a life under assault. Eating strategically makes significant differences. With grace, luck, dedicated doctors, brilliant nurses and practitioners, numerous clinical trials, personal and emotional tenacity, my husband defied the odds.
In the end, our “lifetime” lasted ten miraculous years. Looking back, we had that time to learn about deep, soulful living in times of crisis.
Long-term caregiving means to witness, assist and love someone through a difficult journey. To do that I had to learn how to build a network of friends and family who could go the distance. I had to learn how to ask those people for help. I had to learn to be honest about my own fears, vulnerability, my burnout and even resentment. (Yes, caregivers have all that.)
Often long-term caregiving ends in loss. Grief doesn’t move in a straight line. Each person’s grief journey will be unique to their life experience, personality and relationship to the person who has passed away. Saro passed away before I learned how to make a perfect risotto, before we could celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary, before our daughter could make him tiramisu. But not before we got a chance to say what we wanted to say to each other. Not before he made me promise to continue to live fully and openly, when I felt ready.
Today, I am a widow (I always stumble when I say that) and a mother (that always makes me smile). The chef’s daughter is a gregarious, wise, funny, soulful human being with tremendous compassion. The chef’s widow is moving forward in the role of kitchen widow with a mission to give back, one flavor at a time.
Wendy has 26 years of experience working in the behavioral and medical health field. Her expertise and familiarity with the caregiver community hit close to home serving as a former caregiver herself. Ms. Marcus has worked in both inpatient hospital and outpatient settings, working with patients and families. Her focus throughout her career has varied, spanned nursing homes, care and disability management. Her expertise lies in chronic health problems,including both physical and behavioral health conditions.
Ms. Marcus holds a strong belief that it’s “not what the disease or condition has done to you, but rather what you bring to the problem—attitude is key.” Her thoughtful listening and guidance is a cornerstone to the quality support she provides. For the caregiver who’s knee-deep and overwhelmed, trying to “keep it together” or go-it-alone, here’s a place to find solace.
William Henry began to research elder exploitation following an incident in his own family. He is coauthor, with elder law attorney A. Frank Johns, Jr., of The Crown of Life Society, the first novel ever to address elder exploitation and family caregiving as primary subjects. The book includes a discussion guide, for people in book clubs or other groups who want to explore the issues illustrated in the novel. The Crown of Life Society is available in Amazon’s Kindle Store and at all other major e-book retailers and on Google Play. Details and purchasing links are at crownoflifesociety.com. Follow the authors at Facebook.com/CrownofLifeSociety and on Twitter @henryandjohns.
Our mission is to create a healthier world by promoting active participation in the healthcare process. Yabidu was founded on the idea that health care tools should make our lives easier, not harder. We keep this core principle in mind throughout everything we do. Our products are created by families, for families so the focus is always where it needs to be, on the patient.
Life can be unpredictable. Yabidu offers Caregivers peace-of-mind, when it matters most.
I am a steadfast ally of people who want to live their lives with a greater sense of purpose and meaning.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
I help them bring their song forth – so that they lead their lives with purpose, passion and possibilities.