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3 Women Who Are Re-Defining The Future of Caregiving

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3 Women Who Are Re-Defining The Future of Caregiving

Taking care of a loved one requires one to possess solid time management techniques, know how to deal with different types of people, effectively cope with stress, and be able to handle the unexpected.

Incidentally, these are also essential skills for would-be entrepreneurs.

Perhaps that’s why people caring for aging or ill family members sometimes find re-birth in the world of business.

These passionate phoenixes have transformed themselves, using their experiences to fan the flames of new ventures aimed at helping the legions of family caregivers.

Giving Alzheimer’s a voice

Lori La Bey describes how caring for her aging parents led to the idea that gradually ignited her entrepreneurial spirit.

Soon after taking on the responsibilities of caring for her parents, who were diagnosed with two separate ailments in rapid succession—brain cancer for her father and dementia for her mother—La Bey fell into the common caregiver patterns of perfectionism, guilt and self-imposed separation from the rest of the world. “I felt so isolated, thinking I was supposed to know all the answers,” she says.

It was these emotions that compelled La Bey to create “Alzheimer’s Speaks,” a company dedicated to changing the way people view dementia care.

Under the overarching umbrella of Alzheimer’s Speaks, La Bey conducts speaking and training seminars geared towards teaching caregivers and seniors struggling with dementia.

She’s also created a website meant to serve as an aid for these caregivers, connecting them with educational resources like, “Dementia Chat”—a bi-monthly webinar series that interviews people with early-stage memory loss to help caregivers get a better sense of what these individuals are going through. ( Alzheimer’s patients share their experiences dealing with the disease.)

La Bey’s ultimate goal is to get more people talking about dementia. She feels that open discussion and candid dialogue are the keys to removing the stigma of dementia and improving the culture of elder care.

Caregiving and starting a business have taught La Bey many things. But ultimately, one lesson stands out more than any other: “Perfection doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t exist,” she says. More than anything else, this revelation allowed La Bey to let go, learn from her mistakes, and live to fight (and care) another day.

Continue reading to meet Jenn and Cindy, two women putting the joy back into caregiving

The Next Generation of Elder Care
What Daily Life is Like for People With Dementia
Spring Clean Your Caregiving Routine

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Read more: Career, Caregiving, Family, Healthy Aging, Inspiration, Life, , , , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, Editor

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5:53PM PST on Dec 9, 2013

As a caregiver of my grandpa, I often take him to adult daycare just so I can get respite for myself. We are blessed that his medicaid pays for up to 5 weekdays of his adult daycare.

5:49PM PST on Dec 9, 2013

I am a caregiver of my grandpa who has dementia. I am very young for my age and also a single mom. I wonder how I have even survived with all the challenges in my life. My mom and my 2 aunts who are my grandpa's daughters and my grandpa's power of attorneys have never showed me any gratitude and appreciation for my care and they are all NURSES. My mom is the ringleader and so negative and my 2 aunts are like her followers but they are not caring for grandpa. My mom talks bad about me. Caregiving is hard work.

12:22PM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

Great article!!

8:21PM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

wow and thank you!

1:59PM PDT on Apr 16, 2013


12:07PM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

This is the thoughest job anyone will ever have to do. It is very difficult to care for a parent. You first have to deal with the mental and emotional shift that this person who was once the guiding force in your life is now totally relying on you to do everything for him or her. You will never comprehend the struggle unless you live it on a daily basis. You have to constantly look for ways to make live easier and more comfortable for the loved one and you also have to find ways to manage your own life. When taking a shower becomes an "event" you have to plan you will know you are in the trenches of caregiving. I wish us all lots of blessings when we go through the stages of caregiving.

1:49PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013


1:38AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013


7:33AM PDT on Apr 12, 2013

Many women are doing this and have been for years :) These three are not alone or rare.

8:27PM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

A tremendously difficult job...Blessings to all, for their compassion.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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