The Shriver Report – caregiving

Special Edition

My Story
My Ticket to Happiness: A Story of Caring & Coping with Alzheimer’s
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month and to kick it off Chicken Soup for the Soul shared an excerpt from one of their latest titles, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias by Amy Newmark and Angela Timashenka Geiger.  → Read More
Why Are We Always Raising Money for Cancer?
After an MRI, the doctor pulled me and my husband, Tom, into the hallway, just like in the movies, and told us that our son had a brain tumor. The next year, in May 2013, we held a fundraiser for pediatric cancer at a local springtime festival. Not knowing our story, one parent looked at me and sighed, exasperated, “We are always raising money for cancer!” Caught off guard, I murmured something but then continued to wonder at her statement. I used to be her.  → Read More
Unpaid and Undervalued Care Work Keeps Women on the Brink
By Riane Eisler and Kimberly Otis, Center for Partnership Studies
Women do most of the care work in families; they care for children, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women devote more than 110 million hours a year to unpaid interactive child care, more than double men’s less than 55 million hours. This care work is socially and economically essential. But unless we change our current national and state policies, the fact that women do far more of this work than men will continue to be a major reason for women’s disproportionate poverty.  → Read More
What Women Need
A New America that Cares
Throughout its history, America has continued to reinvent itself, each time producing a better society for more of us than the one that preceded it. Reconstruction improved on the pre-Civil War republic. The New Deal created a “new America” that was a great improvement on the Gilded-Age America. The civil rights movement generated legislation guaranteeing the equality promised in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  → Read More
My Husband’s Lungs: How One Woman Handles the Burden of Caregiving
It is midnight on the night before classes start, and I need to take my husband Ben to the Emergency Room. According to the academic calendar, tomorrow I will hand my freshmen their syllabi. This one final ER trip before school starts means that I’ve brought Ben here five times this season–these trips and a two night admission make it a personal record for most hospitalizations in a single year.  → Read More
Caregiving and the Battle of the Matriarchs
This is not sexist. It is DNA and it is truth: women are natural born caregivers who, though we may not like to admit it, are similar to men in that some of us are “alpha.” There is always the one woman who emerges as the Matriarch of her clan; sometimes she’s granted the place because she’s the only mother, the clear and natural choice for the position, but sometimes she has fought hard among female siblings to earn that title.  → Read More
Mothering Mother
My mother and I were in what I call “agreed denial” about her growing health concerns.
My adoptive mother – 50 years older than me, widowed, with Parkinson’s and a mild heart condition, fiercely independent and determined to live alone – was noticeably declining. Me – in my late 30s, married, raising three daughters, founder and director of a private school in an Atlanta suburb, juggling all of my responsibilities – lived in perpetual worry about my mother.  → Read More
Caregiving as a Career
I am a 20-something college graduate with a bachelor’s of science in early childhood/childhood education (birth through grade 6). I am a nanny, with plans of some day opening my own home family daycare. For me caregiving is not just babysitting, it is a career – one that I take very seriously. However, my path as a caregiver has not been easy. It’s been a long, and frustrating road.  → Read More
Loving a Child with Mental Illness
Almost immediately after he was born, we realized my son, Zack, was a very challenging baby. He did not cry; he screamed. He was incredibly difficult to take care of and soothe.
As he became a toddler, he began to have lengthy rages sparked by the most minor incident. His unpredictable rages could, and would, last hours. They would begin in a flash and he would literally turn into an unrecognizable child. Then when they were over he would return to a sweet, loving, and remorseful little boy.  → Read More
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