Deborah Bushlen became a full-time caregiver for Bill, who suffered a stroke two years ago. Photo by Samuel Wilson

— By Mac McLean Deborah Bushlen, 61, became a full-time caregiver when her husband, Bill, 71, had a stroke two years ago that left him paralyzed on his right side. “It’s been tough,” said Bushlen, a registered nurse educator who had to quit her job, close Bill’s real estate business and move halfway across the state, from Joseph to Bend, so her husband could get the care he needs. Recent studies have linked the experience of caring for a loved one …

volunteering

— In five years as an Oregon Long Term Care Ombudsman volunteer, I’ve seen a lot, sometimes inspiring, occasionally appalling. We are free, confidential advocates for the rights, dignity, and quality of life of adults in licensed nursing, residential care, assisted living, and adult foster care homes, where we visit, get to know residents, investigate complaints, watch and listen for problems and, with the resident’s approval, work to resolve them.   An elderly woman with diabetes might keep receiving her insulin …

CareHands

—   In our culture, the ALF – and the other acronymed places for the elderly, fragile, and disabled – constitutes both the family, those at-hand, and village, out-there in the social order. The caregiver is the person at-hand in assisted living.  For me, she – and it’s almost always she –  cleans my glasses, opens my mail, dresses and undresses me, showers me, puts me on and takes me off the toilet, wipes me.  What kind of person does it …

aarp-or-11-29-161

— Sometimes when we’re in the community, we’ll hear from someone who says, “I’ve never met a real person from AARP!” Yes, there is an AARP Oregon State Office with a staff of 7 plus a great team of volunteer partners. We’re active on issues that matter to you and your family. In this season of gratitude and reflection, we want to share with you some of the highlights from our work this year. Engaged presidential and congressional candidates to “Take …

Disrupt aging logo

—   A group of women friends, from generations ahead of me, all nodded in agreement when one said, “In high school I didn’t want to learn to type.” It took me a moment to understand the implication of the comment and how learning to type often meant being channeled into secretarial work, which they didn’t want to do. By the time I was in high school, typing class was an introductory course to computer science, and the book and movie …

ruth-drew

— The holidays aren’t always the happiest time of year – especially if you’re dealing with the stress of being a family caregiver. Or what if, you’re a long-distance caregiver that will return home for the holidays? AARP is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association to present a very special webinar titled, “Caregiving & the Holidays: Signs, Expectations & Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers,” on Tuesday, December 6th at Noon PT Ruth Drew, who is Director of Family and Information Services at the …

Jean

— Don’t miss out! Register today for the free webinar, “Joy Unleashed: Lessons a Dog Taught an Unemployed Baby Boomer.” Join AARP on Thursday, December 1st for a free webinar. “Joy Unleashed: Lessons a Dog Taught an Unemployed Baby Boomer” will feature the inspiring true-life story of a dog named Bella who helped her owner, Jean Baur, find a sense of belonging and confidence after being downsized by her job. The webinar airs live at 2 p.m. CT on Thursday, December 1st …

respite summit

— AARP Oregon salutes Oregon’s nearly 470,000 family caregivers during November’s National Family Caregiver Month. We also recognize it’s a tough job. A bit of rest now and then, or “respite care,” helps prevent significant stress and burnout that can lead to worse health for the caregiver, and diminish the caregiver’s ability to provide good care to their loved one. Caregivers need short breaks! I first became aware of how important it is for caregivers to get breaks when I was at …

— By Dick Weinman, AARP Volunteer and Assisted Living Guru “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 . . . .” Enough already! I counted forty-six tile squares of my bathroom floor and stopped. They all looked alike, and I kept confusing the number. Why was I counting? I was passing the time while I sat on the hard, plastic toilet seat my caregiver placed me on. I may not have been able to count the tiles, but I could see the …

bobby-heagerty

— Bobby Heagerty has education in her blood. Born into a family of educators, teaching became her professional path as well. But a fascination with the brain led her out of the K-12 classroom environment and toward Oregon Health and Sciences University where her innovative adult education and outreach programs eventually resulted in her receiving the neuroscience educator of the year in 2013 from the Society of Neuroscience, the first non-neuroscientist to receive it. The twist in her career started in …