Dementia and Alzheimer’s have been a part of my life since I was about the age of six when my beloved grandfather/best friend (who thought I could do no wrong!) developed the disease. It was at that age, I was forced to grow up and learn that my grandpa was no longer going to remember who I was, and help care for him with my grandmother and my mom.
When he passed away, I hoped and prayed that dementia/Alzheimer’s disease would never affect my family again. Unfortunately, it did, and it robbed my beautiful grandmother of her memory, her ability to cook, garden, sew and complete everyday tasks that we all take for granted little by little. I was her caregiver and while it was one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever had, it was the most rewarding. I would not trade the amount of time I was given with my grandma for anything. I lost her on October 31, 2015 and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her.
There are millions of caregivers in this country, some are caring for their parents or grandparents, while others care for a spouse, an elderly neighbor, or a friend. It takes a special person to be a caregiver, but I truly believe that once you’re a caregiver, you’re always a caregiver, it becomes a part of your DNA. It will bring out the best or the worst in you, especially if you don’t take care of yourself.
Leeza Gibbons is one of my heroes. As a kid I grew up watching her on Entertainment Tonight, and knew right then that I wanted to be a journalist. A few years ago I learned that she was a caregiver for her beautiful mother who had Alzheimer’s and gained even more respect for her. She is such an inspirational woman with a passion for helping caregivers in any way she can! Leeza is now a caregiver for her beloved father Carlos.
This week I was honored when Leeza Gibbons joined me for an interview in honor of National Caregivers month. Caregiver burnout is something none of us want to face, and that’s why it is so important that caregivers take care of themselves, manage their health and wellbeing before overwhelm sets in. Like you, I was told I needed to take a break, relax and I didn’t do it. Nobody was offering help and I was too afraid to ask, so I just kept on. It took a toll on me. Thankfully, Leeza Gibbons shared some advice for caregivers that will help those in need of respite.
During the interview Leeza Gibbons shared great advice on how caregivers can take care of their loved ones without becoming overwhelmed or feeling guilty, which is very common. She shared tips on how to keep the family together, and how to convince a loved one to get a medical alert device. One of the amazing devices she mentioned during the interview will actually call the paramedics if you (or the person you’re caring for) fall or become unconscious and can’t push the button yourself. Technology is amazing!
Please be sure to watch the video below to see my interview with Ms. Leeza Gibbons in its entirety. She shared a wealth of information that will help caregivers caring for a loved one near and far. For more information please visit: Lifeline.Philips.com.
Video: Watch Candace Rose interview Leeza Gibbons in honor of National Caregiver’s Month!
In honor of my amazing grandparents Margarita and Maurilio Perez who blessed me with a compassion to love, help and care for others!
Sponsor: Lifeline. Candace Rose was not compensated by the sponsor for this interview.