FCA Blog

11/26: Former FCA Staff Member Monique Parrish on Honoring and Supporting Caregivers

Listening to caregiver stories week after week changed me. I heard and felt the deep heartache experienced by women and men caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Their tales were touching, and humbling, and at times very funny. Fortunately for everyone, laughter was never off the table. That was vital. As the facilitator of a support group for caregivers, I discovered that the zigzagging and sometimes overwhelmingly taxing caregiver journey is occasionally relieved, if only for a moment, when caregivers find a safe place to laugh.

11/25: Holiday Gifts for Caregivers—Part 2

In the last blog post I suggested five gifts family caregivers could use right now: two weeks of respite, Social Security credits for those who leave their job to provide care, a trained workforce, and so on–all practical items. Today we turn to those gifts that capture public attention or change policy in a favorable direction. The following are my personal favorites in this category:

11/24: Holiday Gifts for Caregivers—Part 1

This time of year, our thoughts turn to family and friends, celebrating relationships, and giving to others. I would like to list my own personal recommendations on gifts family caregivers could use this holiday season and beyond.

Gift #1: Respite

Seriously. If we are serious about supporting families, let’s give those who care full-time (most caregivers are more than full-time) two weeks of respite a year. Everyone needs a substantial break–caregivers most of all.

11/23: The Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus Celebrates the Compassion and Care of Family Caregivers

In recognition of November being National Family Caregivers Month, the co-chairs of the congressional Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus wrote a “Dear Colleague” letter to bring greater visibility to the value of caregivers and explore potential ways to better support them.

The ACT Caucus aims to inform members of Congress about issues related to family caregiving by elevating the conversation, forging an environment conducive to reaching bipartisan solutions, and helping create an urgency to act.

11/22: From Daughter to Friend

I don’t remember when my mother forgot who I was. But I know she did.

Somewhere along the slowly sloping path of Alzheimer’s disease, she forgot I was her daughter. She forgot what “daughter” meant.

And so I became a friend. A friend that never stopped calling her “Mom.”

It wasn’t always easy to let her go.

Who knows you better than your mom? Who loves you more than your mom?  Who do you want to tell things to, more than your mom?

As her friend, I listened.

11/21: Holiday Time, Siblings, and Parent Care

Are you looking forward to getting together with your parents and siblings for Thanksgiving? Maybe not. Sibling relationships and parent–child communication can be complicated. Should one or both of your parents also suffer from a progressive chronic illness, then the holiday chit chat with your siblings will most likely be about your parent's needs and how to navigate for their care and well-being.

11/20: Jacqueline Marcell: My Experience with Alzheimer’s Disease

For eleven years I pleaded with my ‘challenging’ elderly father to allow a caregiver to help him with my ailing mother, but he always insisted on taking care of her himself. Every caregiver I hired soon sighed in exasperation, ‘Jacqueline, I just can't work with your father. His temper is impossible to handle and he’s not going to accept help until he's on his knees himself.’

11/19: Visionary Leadership, Dedicated Staff Help Grow FCA

As part of FCA’s 30 Days of Caregiving blog during National Family Caregivers Month, former FCA staff members were asked to be guest bloggers as part of a unique “Throwback Thursday” series. They were asked to address how FCA has influenced their work in their current positions, what they learned at FCA that they have carried forward, and if they were King or Queen for a day, what they would make happen for family caregivers.

11/18: Who is a Caregiver at the Age of 20? Advice From a Young Caregiver

FCA’s 30 Days of Caregiving blog features stories of caregiving as submitted by families across the country. Family caregivers are invited to send a story and a picture and share their experiences with others through FCA’s website.

FCA thanks all the caregiving families who have shared their stories of love, loss, bravery, triumphs, community, humor, and sadness. These stories and tips for coping truly help others.