A community for caregivers, designed and informed by caregivers.
Many of our own friends confided in us that they didn't know where to turn. We began to imagine what sort of service would be the most helpful. As we reflected on our own experiences we realized that there were two important factors in dealing with our challenges. The first was the support of people who had firsthand experience, and the second was good quality advice and information about the more technical issues.
By finding out what it is caregivers wanted to know more about - we have designed a website (www.EldercareABC.com) and blog featuring:
- Insightful and informative blog posts
- Library of articles and resources
- Teleclasses around the most pressing issues
- Interviews with experts / authors
- Special community events
- Group 'chat sessions'
- Product reviews
The 'ABC' in EldercareABC stands for 'About Being Connected'. So come in, get connected and have your say about what information you need. Most importantly discover a group of people that are here to support you and who you can support in your own way.
If you are caring for an aging parent we have two things to say to you - bravo for having the courage to step-up to the plate and.......join our EldercareABC community!
About EldercareABC Blog
EldercareABC began as an idea based on empathy and community. My wife Sandy and I had cared for both of our parents and now they were all gone. What was not gone was the memory of how challenging the experience had been. We had raised two children and thought we knew what care giving was about.
We had the good fortune to have a supportive extended family. We knew we were lucky and that many people rise to the challenge of an aging parent alone. Our hearts go out to these people and EldercareABCBlog.com is our practical response to that emotion.
If it requires a village to raise a child, then what does it take to care for an aging parent?
There are so many variables in care giving circumstances that you could safely say that there are no two alike! This is why having the support of an extended social network can be so powerful. Tapping into the collective wisdom of a group of people who have or are facing similar challenges is the purpose of this blog. The group acts as an 'extended mind' made up of many people with many years of life experience.
Think about it for a moment - take a relatively small on-line community of 250 people and assume that their average age is 45 - that makes an extended mind with over 11,000 years life experience. It raises the question; what can we do together that we can't do alone?
This is your parent.....
A good portion of our professional careers had been involved in 'helping professions', social work and counseling. We thought we knew how to care for others. When it came to caring for our parents we realized this was no ordinary caring relationship.
One of the most challenging questions is how do you look after someone who used to look after you? How do you start giving your parents advice and direction? How do you make that transition from 'child' to 'adult caregiver'?
United we Stand....
Abraham Maslow described becoming part of something larger than ourselves as one of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves. He goes on to state that connecting ourselves to something larger... '... is an easy medicine for self-esteem: Become a part of some- thing important. Be able to say, "We of the United Nations. . . ."
Or for that matter 'we caregivers'. By doing so we participate in the glory, the pleasure, and the pride of all caregivers everywhere. Simply put we are stronger together than we are separated. Supportive communities can be so valuable to caregivers because they help bring meaning to what they day-to-day.
Scientific research shows that isolation is harmful to our health. People with a network of supportive relationships have much lower incidences of heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. It has further shown that these networks do not have to be face-to-face in nature. Caregivers involved in on-line communities have stronger immune systems and better health than those experiencing social isolation.
About the EldercareABC Team
Joy Loverde: Blogger
Joy Loverde, a consultant in the mature market/active adult industry shares her expertise with family members and professionals who want to successfully plan and manage eldercare issues.
Her best selling book, "The Complete Eldercare Planner: Where to Start, Questions to Ask, How to Find Help," (updated and revised, Random House, 2009) reflects the depth of her understanding and compassion for the needs of older Americans. "The book is the best we saw..." says the American Medical Association.
As a media spokesperson, Joy's appearances include the Today show, CBS Early Show, ABC NewsNow, Fox News, National Public Radio, and others. During her career, Joy has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, Kiplinger's Retirement Report, and HR Magazine. USA TODAY ran a four-part series on Joy's eldercare programs.
Joy is a seasoned keynote speaker for a variety of audiences including National Institutes of Health, Xerox Women's International Conference, American Compensation Association, Catholic Charities, Employee Assistance Professionals Association, and numerous senior housing communities.
Joy is the director of Silvercare Productions, established in 1989, and serves as a mature-market consultant to human resource professionals, caregiver organizations, corporations, attorneys, financial planners, clergy, retirement-housing directors, and other members of the fast-growing eldercare industry. Joy lives in Chicago. Visit her website at Elderindustry.com
Mary Jane Stern:Blogger
Mary Jane became involved with Medicare as a result of her husband's disability during 2003. With so many different options within the Medicare system she spent the time to thoroughly research and establish what the best options were for her husband's medical needs. She enjoys educating people on the different plans Medicare offers, and how to keep out of the "do nut hole" on the Medicare Part D Prescription Plan.
Mary Jane has worked in the administrative field for 20+ years. She was a co-owner of a contract manufacturing company and supported upper level management in Information Technology, Finance and Administration, Legal Counsel, Risk Management and Customer Service for various industries that include, private wealth management, manufacturing and commercial real estate.
Mary Jane hopes by offering her knowledge about Medicare for http://EldercareABCblog.com will help those already enrolled or becoming eligible for the Medicare Program to make sound, cost-effective decisions for their medical needs.
Mary Nix: Blog Manager
[Ohio, United States]
Mary became a part of the sandwich generation when helping her parents and handicapped sister began to require more of her time. After unsuccessfully finding a duplex that would keep them all close, but independent, they removed the roof from her parents home and built a second floor duplex onto their present home. This arrangement has worked well for over ten years and has enabled her parents to remain independent, but still have help when it is necessary.
Over the years, Mary has become a passionate advocate for senior citizens and handicapped individuals, learning to become a partner with many others for their continued care.
Mary was a home educating parent from 1990 to 2007 and developed many of her activist skills while volunteering to monitor legislation, co-coordinating a statewide organization and running monthly meetings to help others to understand the process.
From May 2003 to May 2008, she was a feature writer, multi-blogger and online general manager for the International and Award winning Home Education Magazine. In 2003 Mary and her husband David created North Coast Web and Design, a web and design and hosting company that has grown from just a few sites to over two-dozen websites today.
Mary brings her strong advocacy skills and passion for helping others to this stage of her life-helping to care for her parents and aging handicapped sister. She writes about the challenges and joys they face together.
Steve Joyce: CEO and Co-founder of EldercareABC.com
Steve's last 'real job' was as the Brand Manager for one of the largest privately owned pharmaceutical companies in the UK. There Steve managed the branding and promotional campaigns for analgesics and antihypertensive products. His tenure was accompanied by a 368% growth in his product portfolio. Stephen was responsible for the creation and execution of market research, product launch, direct-mail, and consumer awareness studies.
In 2007 he authored 'Teaching an Anthill to Fetch: Developing Collaborative Intelligence @ Work'. It became an instant best seller on Amazon and has been translated into German (Wiley Business Books) and Korean, with five other languages pending.
In the 90's Stephen and Sandra moved back home to Ireland specifically to help care for his parents and unwittingly began a 10 year care experience. It was that experience that inspired them to found EldercareABC.com.
With his extensive knowledge of collaborative processes and a deep knowledge of complex project management, Stephen has assembled a team of specialists to serve those involved in the care of an aging parent. Creating a place where caregivers can be heard and contribute to their own emotional and psychological well-being and that of their fellow community members.
Sandra Joyce: Project Coordinator and Co-founder of EldercareABC.com
Sandra's background is in financial control and business administration. She has worked with companies in a managerial capacity for over 20 years. In 2001 she co-founded ZenergyPD Inc., a training and professional development consultancy.
In 2006 Sandra established Mighty Small Books (MSB) as the publishing arm of Zenergy PD Inc. Through MSB she coordinated the launch of 'Teaching an Anthill to Fetch', managing the marketing and foreign rights sales. Presently she is financial controller and managing partner with ZenergyPD Inc.
With a business background, Sandra brings to EldercareABC her personal experience of raising a family while providing end of life care for her mother. She remains actively involved volunteering at hospice in Calgary.
Dr. Marcella Bakur Weiner Ph.D. - Author of four books on the topic of aging, Marcella has had a long and distinguished career. Weiner has both a Master's and doctoral thesis's published on the topic of 'aging'. A clinical psychologist with a thriving practice in New York, Dr. Weiner frequently presents to the American Psychologists Association (APA). Her recent book 'Aging Parents, Aging Children' achieved best seller status shortly after publication
Dr. Marcella Bakur Weiner Ph.D. - Author of four books on the topic of aging, Marcella has had a long and distinguished career. Weiner has both a Master's and doctoral thesis's published on the topic of 'aging'. A clinical psychologist with a thriving practice in New York, Dr. Weiner frequently presents to the American Psychologists Association (APA). Her recent book 'Aging Parents, Aging Children' achieved best seller status shortly after publication.
Dr. Al Siebert Ph.D. - is Director of The Resiliency Center. He is an ex-paratrooper with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. He is a recognized internationally for his expertise in the area of 'resilience'. His book Survivor Personality has been translated into many languages. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio, the NBC Today Show, Discovery Channel and OPRAH. Dr Siebert brings a wealth of knowledge on what it takes to survive parenting a parent. He has also taught management psychology at Portland State University for over thirty years. His most recent book 'The Resiliency Advantage' won the title of 'Best Self-Help Book' in the 2006 Independent Publishers awards.