Sometimes it is difficult to believe that others have the ability to relate to the problems and concerns that arise when being the caregiver for a loved one. That can be especially true when those ‘others’ are celebrities. However, these celebrity advocates remind us that many are fighting the same fight, and although it may be overwhelming, these relatable stories and words of wisdom will help you keep moving forward.
Marcia Gay Harden
When her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011, actress Marcia Gay Harden, knew it would be a turning point for her family. As a caregiver for her now 81-year-old mother, she gave this advice to fellow caregivers in a interview with Parade.com last year, “Caregivers feel guilty that they can’t do enough,” she said. “But you have to go easy on yourself. Being in the moment with the person, knowing they have an ability to recognize the familiar even if they can’t verbalize it, your familiar love validates them.”
Seth and Lauren Miller-Rogen
Actor, Seth Rogen and his film writer/director wife, Lauren Miller-Rogen have first-hand experience on what a disease like Alzheimer’s can do to a family. This celebrity couple has been helping take care of Lauren Miller-Rogen’s mother for some time now. They have even founded Hilarity for Charity, a foundation to promote Alzheimer’s disease and awareness to the upcoming generations. In an interview with CNN about coping with the disease, Miller-Rogen said, “you can’t do this alone. It takes too much out of you. You want to build a care team educated about the disease so that you know what to expect.”.
After watching his mother suffer from Alzheimer’s for almost 20 years, Broadway and screen actor, Peter Gallagher has now deeply involved himself in the search for a cure through his involvement in a number of charity events and fundraisers. The actor speaks out about the disease whenever he can and has said that, “Watching a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s is excellent at making you feel powerless, but it doesn’t have to make you feel alone.”
Actress, Blythe Danner, cared for her husband, Bruce Paltrow as he fought oral cancer during his last few years. The actress now actively promotes the Bruce Paltrow Cancer Fund to raise education and help others with the grief of a loved one suffering from oral cancer.
Journalist, TV host and author, Joan Lunden has been in a caregiving role for a long time in her life. When she first began her career around 30 years ago as she was helping take care of her brother who suffered from health complications due to his type 2 diabetes and her mother who was diagnosed with dementia later in life. Her career made it hard for her to be in one place for a long time, so she gave some tips on long-distance caregiving to Greenwich Time. Lunden recommends that you form a bond with the people that have that daily interaction with your loved one. “One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give people is not to just drop them off,” she said. “The more information they have about my mom, the more they can engage her in conversation.”
Actress, Hilary Swank, took on the caregiving role a few years ago after she insisted her father move into her home after he underwent a lung transplant. When talking about how her life was affected by taking on the role she mentioned to AARP that, “caregiving changed me for real and forever,” said Swank. “What I used to stress about was silly and inconsequential. All I’d done since I was 15 was act. Taking that away gave me space to recognize I’m so much more than this thing I define myself as.”
If you are struggling with being a caregiver let MIR Senior Care Management & Care Consultants provide you with support. We are here to help you with problem-solving from everything to recommendations for peer groups, care facilities and even suggestions for legal counsel. Contact us today for the support you need.