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This Caregiver Life

This Caregiver Life

By Mary Hahn Ward & Jennifer Smith Mackinday
Hosts Jennifer Mackinday and Mary Hahn Ward are long-time caregivers. "This Caregiver Life" podcast explores the journey of caregivers from all walks of life. Whether you are a caregiver, clinician, or community member supporting caregivers, you'll connect with our stories, resources, and insight. We share an unfiltered look into the frontlines of caregiving, of #thiscaregiverlife.

p.s. We are excited to share we have recently been rated a top ten caregiver podcast! Wow!
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E3: When Sepsis Strikes

This Caregiver Life

E3: When Sepsis Strikes

This Caregiver Life

E64: Healthy Boundaries, Great Expectations
We're so excited to have Theresa Coomer join us for this episode in celebration of #MilitaryCaregiverMonth. You may remember we read an excerpt of Theresa's writing during episode 63. She's a mother, educator, caregiver, and author of the blog "Peanut Butter in My Purse, Vitamin C in My Pocket".  Theresa is an example of a caregiver who knows she has limits, but also knows she can set them super high because she also has boundaries.  It's not easy to set boundaries for yourself. As caregivers, we are programmed to say yes, to help others in any way we can, but boundaries are a necessary part of our own self-care. And we aren't just talking about boundaries with others, we're also talking about setting boundaries with yourself! Along with boundaries, caregivers need to weigh and adjust their expectations - boundaries and expectations go hand-in-hand. By setting AND keeping them, caregivers can find more enjoyment in their own lives.  Does this happen overnight? Not a chance! It takes ongoing practice to acquire the right tools to build boundaries and realistically set expectations. And there will be trials and troubles along the way to finding yourself "well-adjusted", in fact, none of us really has the capability to maintain "well-adjusted" 100% of the time. This caregiver life is fluid, but the more we train ourselves to recognize the ebbs, the more easily we can go with the flow.  ---- Thanks to everyone who is participating in our writing challenge! Don't forget to email your submissions for on-air reading to We just might have you as a guest on our show. Here's this episode's prompt: -List the cultural texts that informed your childhood. (examples: nursery rhymes, lullabies, books, films, poems) -Pick 1 and write about the significance it's had on your family storyline. 
May 11, 2021
E63: Got Sleep?
What keeps you up at night? In this episode of #thiscaregiverlife we explore insomnia related to caregiving, tactics to help you cope, and resources you may find useful. We also read an excerpt of writing from caregiver and listener, Theresa Coomer. Read Theresa's blog, Peanut Butter in My Purse and Vitamin C in My Pocket: If you're like a lot of caregivers, you likely find yourself saying "I'm exhausted", or "I can't sleep through the night".  Fall asleep or waking up and being unable to return to sleep plague caregivers like us! Here are a few tactics shared by other caregivers that may help: use a meditation or sleep assistance app practice mindful breathing listen to white noise/nature sounds-here's our favorite:  speak with your primary care physician - some caregivers benefit from taking supplements like melatonin or changing their diet practice good sleep hygiene, aka healthy habits such as getting up at the same time every day and keeping your room cool try aromatherapy such as an infuser, oils, Vicks patches, or using a laundry detergent like DIVA We also review a book this week! Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD. Lots of great tips in this book. My favorite is, "if you fall asleep reading this book, it's a compliment!". You can purchase the book here for under $15 on Amazon:  Thanks for joining us and we hope this episode helps you get some much-deserved Zzzzs! -Mar & Jenn
April 21, 2021
E62: Write Where You Are
We all know how important it is for caregivers to focus on themselves. In this episode, Mar and Jenn discuss the powerful impact writing can have in the life of a caregiver. From journaling in a notebook to poetry and novels, caregivers everywhere are discovering the healing power of writing. Learn about writing prompts, which we will share in upcoming episodes and on social media.  Want to dig deeper? Read Ann Lamott's Bird by Bird.  Your hosts are authors, too. Though they have six books between them, they aren't done yet! Each has another book in the works! Jenn's books: Friends for Life: Strangers Brought Together by the War in Iraq, Reassurance: Treasured Christian Poems, and Amateur Apothecary Mar's books: Letters Home, Paws At Work, Thinking Through VA Benefits and Care: A Resource for Veterans with ALS and Their Caregivers and her blog: We'd love to read your writing on an upcoming episode. Email an excerpt to Thank you for listening!
March 31, 2021
E61: Alexa, Help Me With Caregiving
After receiving an Alexa Echo Show for Christmas, Jenn found there were a number of tools that for caregivers and their loved ones, including the Care Hub. This free feature of Alexa-enabled devices works with the Alexa App and allows caregivers to remotely check in on care recipients. With an Echo device at your loved one's home and the Alexa app on your phone, you can see if they are being active, help set reminders and make list, and even get notified if they ask Alexa for help. Listen in as Mar and Jenn discuss technology and caregiving, and join the conversation on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.  Thanks for listening!
February 22, 2021
E60: #NationalCaregiversDay is Every Day
Join us to celebrate our 60th episode and two years of podcasting. Mar and Jenn are thankful for your support and to everyone who has shared this podcast to help other caregivers get through this caregiver life.  If you are an author and would like your book considered for review on a future podcast, please see our website for submission details.  Do you care for a loved one with Alzheimer's or memory disease? Visit to find support and resources.  *Hear strange noises during this episode? No worries, that's our special guest, Jenn's three-month-old granddaughter, Freyja. 
February 19, 2021
E59: From Disaster to Alright, After All
Our guests in this episode are Melissa Johnson and Melissa Comeau with the American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN).  Melissa Johnson's husband is a combat veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and was wounded in Iraq in 2006, leaving him with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and blindness. Melissa reflects on the past 15 years of caregiving and shares her advice with those new to the challenge: Learn to live in recovery Recognize the cycles of caregiving Adapt to the transitions Accept today, don't worry about tomorrow Melissa Comeau has been a caregiver for 10 years to her husband, a Marine Corps veteran with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. She stresses the importance of controlling what you can and organizing what you can't! Her advice: don't lose yourself! Melissa has found journaling to be healing, and we encourage you to read her book, Sleeping With the War.  Follow updates and learn how to purchase a copy:  Learn about MVCN's use of the Rutgers Reciprocal Support Model, giving to yourself as you give to others.  To connect with the American Red Cross directory for ALL caregivers, visit and A great resource for anyone grieving a service member or veteran:
January 18, 2021
E58: Sayonara, 2020
Well, we made it to the end of 2020. What will 2021 look like? Who knows, but what we do know is that we will move forward with deliberate actions to make a difference.  We wrap up the year with a reflection on our phenomenal growth. Thank you to our listeners around the globe, including those in the UK, Canada, Ireland, India, and Jamaica! This year we published over 1200 minutes of content over 33 episodes, and our followers increased 240%! Links we mentioned in the show: David Kessler and Brené on Grief and Finding Meaning,  If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. Admiral McRaven's life lessons, This Caregiver Life is tough, and we appreciate each of you for sharing this journey with us. Best wishes to you and yours for Happy Holidays and a Bright 2021. - Mar & Jenn
December 24, 2020
E57: The Gift of Caring
Author and Caregiver Denise Brown is our guest for this episode of This Caregiver Life. After nearly 25 years running an online caregiving platform, really the first of its kind, Denise launched Through The Caregiving Years Training Academy in April of 2020, Denise offers training and leadership development opportunities for family caregivers and former family caregivers. Denise is currently caring for her parents, now 89 and 86, who live nearby in their own apartment. She currently manages two online networks —, focused on grieving and overcoming loss, and, centered on resiliency and harnessing energy. In April 2021, she will host The Caring Conference which will feature workshops and sessions that reflect the conference theme, Our Resilient Spirit.  Three days a week Denise poses Caring Questions, encouraging family caregivers to share their experiences by answering one question. Sharing our stories not only he's us heal, but it helps others on their journey, too!  Connect with Denise: • Caring Our Way: • Healing Our Way: • The Caring Question: • The Caregiving Years Training Academy:
December 7, 2020
E56: Ask Me Anyway
To kick off National Caregiver Month Megan Swanson joined us as our guest. Megan is the caregiver to her husband, Matt, a veteran, and the mom of three young boys. Megan is learning to find time for her mind and body this past year. She is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree and is actively engaging her body with kickboxing. In fact, when we chatted with Megan she had just returned from a kickboxing session and was radiant! We are giving a big shout out to Gabrieles Martial Arts for helping Megan achieve her fitness goals.  One aspect of caregiving that we talked about that is a challenge for so many of us who live This Caregiver Life is social inclusivity by non-cargivers. This resonanted deeply with Jenn and Mar.  November is the month we nationally recognize family caregivers from all walks of life. The theme this year is "Caregiving Around the Clock". The pandemic has burdened caregivers more than ever with all kinds of difficulties: more isolation, more lonesomeness, and challenges in accessing healthcare for their loved one and themselves. Because of the serious affects of COVID-19, more people need family caregivers than ever before. Mar and Jenn have shared the challenges they have faced, and continue to confront during the pandemic, know you are not alone.  To share your story and/or share an idea for an upcoming podcast email us at  #CaregivingAroundTheClock #ThisCaregiverLife #Caregivers  
November 1, 2020
E55: Sharing The Caregiver Story
"When I'm 64" is a brand new podcast by the Stanford Center on Longevity, and in this episode, Mar and Jenn chat with the show host, Ken Stern. Ken's worn many hats during his career, including 10 years at NPR where he was CEO. He's also an author, family man, and these days, a podcaster. "When I'm 64" explores topics from Altzheimers to caregiving in your 20s, and also features celebrity interviews with Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen who were inspired to start the nonprofit Hilarity for Charity, inspired by their first-hand the challenges of caregiving.  During this show, we talked to Ken about UCLA's Steve Cole and his research on the link between our health and caregiving. Not only can stress make you sick, but giving and being kind can make you healthier! We learned a lot of Ken, and you will, too. Thanks for listening! Thanks for joining us, and don't forget to like us on Facebook, send us a Tweet, and visit our website, where you can send us questions or even share your story. .  We also ask that you give us a 5-star rating so we can reach even more listeners. We appreciate your support!
October 13, 2020
E54: Celebrating International Podcast Day!
We LOVE International Podcast Day! Many podcasters are broadcasting live on September 30th International Podcast Day but since Jenn and Mar are super busy with all of the living life things like working, caregiving, self care, etc they did a special record! self-care. We love podcasting, it's that simple. It's one of the best endeavors we have ever involved ourselves in. Every single time we record a podcast we think about all of our sister and brother caregivers across the world living This Caregiver Life. We live it right alongside all of you, every day. We know the ups, downs, and in-between times.  Podcasting has been and will continue to be, a way to share our caregiver stories and resources. Join us in celebrating Internation Podcast Day by listening to This Caregiver Life podcasts, as well as, other podcasts. Mar recently started listening to Brené Brown's podcast: Unlocking Us. The first episode she relates to so well because she super struggles on 'first' and in particular thought, she would never be comfortable podcasting...yet here she is 54 episodes later and she loves it! There are so many good ones these days. Which ones do you like? We'd love to hear from you! Email us at or find us on social media at This Caregiver Life on Facebook and Instagram.  #ThisCaregiverLife #Podcasting #InternationalPodcastDay
September 30, 2020
E53: Care Communication Simplified
Did you know there's an app that helps family and friends stay connected while caring for a loved one? Yep, there sure is. And best of all, it's FREE! During this episode, Mar and Jenn chat with  Mike Eidsaune, Founder and CEO of Carely, Inc. The Carely brand includes a free app for caregivers and a platform tool for care providers as well as the vast library of resources found at Also joining us for the convo is Matt Perrin, a member of the Carely team, and a caregiver for his mother and father-in-law. Matt tells us how his experience with the app has helped simplify the sometimes daunting task of caregiving and has made it easier to ask for and accept help.  Communication is the lifeblood of caregivers. Sharing information with loved ones, care providers, and peers is essential to getting through this caregiver life. Once caregivers find communication channels that work for them, they can create a habit, and once that habit is established they'll find it relieves stress and is even comforting!  Thanks for joining us, and don't forget to give us a 5-star rating so we can reach even more listeners. We appreciate your support!  
September 23, 2020
E52: Veteran and Caregiver Suicide Prevention w/ Sherman Gillums, Jr.
Join us for a candid conversation about veterans, their caregivers, and suicide. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and a subject Mar and Jenn are passionate about supporting. Our country is facing a mental health crisis that has only worsened in the wake of a global pandemic. Suicide is a tough and complex issue, but seeing how you can do your part in helping yourself and those around you can make all the difference. Our guest this episode is Sherman Gillums Jr., Chief Strategy Officer of American Veterans (AMVETS). Learn more about AMVETS and connect with Sherman: Call (833) VET HEAL Email DM Sherman on social media, @SGillums   If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24/7/365, agents speak both English and Spanish. Phone: 800-273-8255 For our listeners who care for veterans and are interested in more information about the VA Caregiver Program, please visit Facts mentioned in this episode: According to a recent CDC report, 31% of unpaid family caregivers reporting seriously considering suicide in the past 30 days, compared to 11% of other adults. Unpaid family caregivers also reported having more symptoms of depression and anxiety and starting or increasing substance use to cope with the stress of COVID-19 on top of caregiving. The survey was administered to 5,500 adults between June 24-30th. According to SAMHSA, in 2018 only 4% of adults had serious thoughts of suicide. The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at, or send a text message to 741741 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Remember, you are not alone. 
September 18, 2020
E51: Hawaii - Life-Changing For This Caregiver & Her Veteran
We welcome Emily Emmons as our guest on today's podcast: Hawaii - Life-Changing For This Caregiver & Her Veteran. Emily, like so many of us, has a number of different roles in life. Emily is first and foremost Emily. She follows her heart. She is a mom, a caregiver to her husband, John, a post 9/11 veteran, she is a lover of animals, farming, living off of the land, a strong advocate for veterans and caregivers, and Executive Director at Ho'ola Farms located in Hawaii.  The mission of Ho'ola Farms is fantastic: GROW and to serve military veterans, caregivers, first-responders  and their families by providing opportunities to heal, connect, learn,  grow, and thrive.  Emily shared how the Farmer Veteran Coalition has been extremely supportive of veterans in agriculture.  Emily and Mar met a few years ago in Washington, D.C. as Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellows. They were sitting next to one another during an event that bonded them for life.  The keynote speaker, Dr. Amit Sood, who runs the "Happiness Clinic" at the Mayo Clinic spoke about gratitude and that resonated deeply with them. These are the short clips and TedTalk links she shared with me to share with all of you: Emily, and her husband, John, are an amazing couple who went all in for a better life several years ago with the goal of sharing their bounty with others.  If you would like to reach out to Emily you can email her at:  If you would like to reach out to us, Jenn and Mar, at This Caregiver Life website or email us at at
September 17, 2020
E50: High Five For Fifty
We are excited to share that this is our 50th episode of “This Caregiver Life” podcast! After thanking our listeners for tuning in we spent a few minutes giving ourselves virtual high-fives and pats on the back. When we recorded our first podcast, we had no idea we would grow as swiftly as we have since our first episode on January 10, 2019. We have nearly 3,000 listeners, 50 episodes of rich content, and a sprinkle of bonus episodes. We thank you, our, listeners for tuning in! You come from all parts of the globe: the United States, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Canada, India, Ireland, Bermuda, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Nicaragua, Germany, Australia, Kenya, Netherlands, Ghana, Czechia, Puerto Rico, Panama, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Japan, and Portugal. The age range is 18 to 60+. You are made up of 51% female, 36% male and 13% not specified. Caring for others knows no geographic boundaries, no specific gender, or age. The caregiver life finds you wherever you are and often when you least expect it! We know how challenging it can be. We share the stories in the hope that it makes your life a bit easier.  We welcome all of you, always. We’d love to hear from you. Please visit our website: or email us at Until the next time!
September 4, 2020
E49: Motivational Interviewing & Caregiving
In this episode, we visit with Dr. Liz Barnett who helps individuals and organizations implement an evidence-based communication style called Motivational Interviewing (MI) to enhance their ability to engage and motivate others. Caregiving often challenges communication in a relationship, and that's where MI comes in. Dr. Liz helps us understand how caregivers can modify their communication tactics when working through behavior changes with loved ones. While the natural response to change is resistance, Dr. Liz helps us see how cooperation and careful discussion planning can take some stress out of this caregiver life.  Learn more about motivational interviewing by visiting:  "Change is never painful, only the resistance to change is painful." -Gautama Buddha
August 31, 2020
E48: The Speed Of The Sound Of Caregiving
When Mandi Bailey's stepdad, Fred Drinkwater, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2017 it was a fast and furious two years. Every day Fred experienced a decline. Mandi's mom, Susan Drinkwater, struggled to keep up with the demands of the disease. One day they were planning for their golden years and the next day they were planning for how to get through the minutes and hours of each day to keep up with the demands of ALS. Mandi was a secondary caregiver for Fred and emotional support for her mom. She remains strong support for her mom.  Fred was a Vietnam Veteran. He was service-connected for ALS. For reasons unknown, veterans are more than twice as likely to get ALS than non-veterans. If you are a veteran with service-connected ALS and need some guidance on VA resources and Care this is a useful tool: Thinking Through VA Benefits and VA Care: A Resource for Veterans with ALS & Their Caregivers After Fred's death, Mandi committed to putting her efforts into ALS advocacy for viable treatments and a cure. She has a Call to Action. She asks listeners to help by contacting your senator and representative in Washington, D.C. to support this legislation:  H.R.7071: Accelerating  Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act Mandi advocates with the following organizations and invites others to join her:  ALS Therapy Development Institute  I Am ALS
August 16, 2020
E47: Reconnecting After Respite
Jenn and Mar took some much needed time away during the month of July. They share the value of taking a pause from the heavy demands of their caregiving responsibilities, work, podcasting, and other activities in life that pull on them. They talk about how it is not easy to take time away for respite or to go on a retreat while living This Caregiver Life yet how powerful it can be to do so.  There are some resources available for caregivers who need respite and may need some assistance in getting it:  National Respite Network: Lifespan Respite Technical Assistance Center: National Family Caregiver Support Program: Specifically for military/veteran caregivers: Caregiver stories are the backbone of This Caregiver Life podcast. It is the stories of others that can often help us in our time of need. If you are a caregiver and would like to share your story on This Caregiver Life podcast we'd love to hear from you. Email us at and give us a brief overview of your caregiver life. We look forward to hearing from you! 
August 13, 2020
E46: Hope After Stroke With Tsgoyna Tanzman
In this episode, Mar & Jenn are joined by Speech-Language Pathologist and Life Coach Tsgoyna Tanzman. She's helped thousands of people transition after stroke and brain injury to the next stages of their lives. Tsgoyna is an expert at helping people find their inner and outer resources using her unique approach that combines traditional and holistic speech therapy along with the life coaching practices. She is best known for her down-to-earth practicality, enthusiasm, and sense of humor while compassionately guiding caregivers and survivors through recovery. One size does not fit all when it comes to recovery or caregiving, and in this show, we discuss Tsgoyna's 5-part 'secret sauce' of recovering: faith, curiosity, persistence, humor, and gratitude. We also talk about the importance of HOPE, why you should have, why your care recipient needs it, and why the best medical providers share it!  Check our her book Hope After Stroke for Caregivers and Survivors: The Holistic Guide to Getting Your Life Back. Tsgoyna’s humor and poignant life stories appear in 15  differentiations anthologies of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has also been featured by Huffington Post, CNBC News, USA Today, Glamour Magazine, Woman's Day Magazine, the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. Connect with Tsgoyna Tanzman online: and, or email Find resources for stroke and aphasia by visiting and (which also has a simplified version for stroke sufferers).  Thanks for listening! Find us on social media:,, and We’d love to receive your thoughts and request, so send us an email or even a voice memo to …until next time!
July 8, 2020
E45: Thrive With Your Tribe
In this episode, Mar and Jenn are joined by Raquel Derrick, Founder of Family Operating Base in the last of our 4-part collaboration.  We discuss the complex issues of caregiving we've explored in this series and the takeaways we hope listeners can use in their lives.  We're still working from home. We're still experiencing the COVID-19. Stay at home, don't stay at home, take a million precautions. You can go here but not there. We're still in the midst of that. So life is still complicated. Just like this caregiver life. Whether it's during this time of COVID, or in the future, this caregiver life is all about making connections and communicating with one another, and that's what this series with Family Operating Base has been all about.  Thanks for listening! Find us on social media:,, and We’d love to receive your thoughts and request, so send us an email or even a voice memo to …until next time!
July 8, 2020
E44: Offering Yourself Grace
In this episode, Mar and Jenn are joined by Shawn Moore, LMSW, Executive Director and Founder of Caregivers on the Homefront and Raquel Derrick, Founder of Family Operating Base.   We discuss the challenges of caring for yourself while caring for a loved one, and ways we can show ourselves the grace we show others.  What is grace? The definition tells us that it's simple elegance or refinement of movement, courteous goodwill, or do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence. Showing one's self grace can be challenging, so we discuss ways to make internal grace a reality.  Thanks for listening! Find us on social media:,, and We’d love to receive your thoughts and request, so send us an email or even a voice memo to …until next time!
July 7, 2020
E43: Balancing Caregiving And Working With Larry Nisenson
Mar and Jenn are joined by Larry Niesenson, Genworth Financial Chief Commercial Officer, the parent company of CareScout® Caregiver Support Services.  A caregiver for his father who was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Larry is passionate about solving the problems caregivers and employers face in the workforce.  In this episode, we explore those challenges for caregivers and employers. Larry is an expert and wants to connect. Feel free to email him at  Caregivers and the workforce: Nearly 60 percent of all family caregivers work full or part-time Caregivers frequently experience feelings of guilt and remorse when leaving their loved ones to go to work Employers often offer paid leave or related programs that can help employee caregivers, though employees who don't identify as caregivers may not be aware of their benefits.  Helping employers understand the need by self-identifying can expand offerings such as flexible work hours, employee assistance programs, and telecommuting opportunities. Click through to AARP for more information about caregiving & employment and to read Jennifer's employment case study. We also discuss long-term care insurance. Did you know by the time you reach 65, there's a 50% chance that you’ll require paid long-term care (LTC) someday? Paying out-of-pocket averages $140,000! Only 7.2 million or so Americans have planned for this expense by purchasing LTC insurance, which covers many of the costs of a nursing home, assisted living or in-home care expenses that aren’t covered by Medicare. Thanks for listening! Find us on social media:,, and We’d love to receive your thoughts and request, so send us an email or even a voice memo to …until next time!
June 20, 2020
E42: Honoring Lisa - End ALS
Mar's guest today, Michael Bullen, was a caregiver to his spouse, Lisa, who had an aggressive form of ALS. They were married for twenty-five years. In the last fourteen months of their marriage, they battled an aggressive form of ALS together. Michael is committed to a lifelong ALS awareness campaign that includes the need for treatments, a cure, and kindness to those who have ALS and the people who care for them The form of ALS Lisa had is bulbar ALS. To find out more about ALS please visit this site: To view the ALS PSA video at the beginning of this podcast please visit: Visit us on social media: #ThisCaregiverLife #Caregivers #ALS #EndALS 
June 12, 2020
E41: Experiencing Grief With Dan Miller of Wounded Warrior Project
Mar and Jenn are joined by Dan Miller, Wounded Warrior Project Warriors Speak spokesperson, and Raquel Derrick, Founder of Family Operating Base.  In this episode, we explore the complexities of grief and talk about the differences between ambiguous and anticipatory grief.  Some facts about grief: According to a 2005 study by Dr. Katherine Shear, Dr. Ellen Frank, and Patricia Houck, most people experience the deepest grief in the first few weeks and months following a loss, but for 10% of people, grief can last years, or even indefinitely Every year 2.5 million people die in the United States, leaving an average of 5 grieving loved ones Symptoms of grief can be emotional, physical, social or religious in nature The seven emotional stages of grief are: shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance or hope Grief is a natural reaction to loss. It's both a universal and personal experience. Talking about our grief can be therapeutic and we hope listening to this podcast helps inspire you to find a peer network, a tribe, of support.  We all have tribes, and we hope you find yours.  Read Sebastian Junger's book TRIBE:  Find us on social media:,, and We’d love to receive your thoughts and request, so send us an email or even a voice memo to …until next time! More links: Jenn’s pro tip is to learn to say NO! Read her article about this underused strategy, Mar’s Blog has a plethora of pro tips, Join the Family Operating Base FOB Community on Facebook:
June 10, 2020
E40: Adapting To A Virtual Life
This  Caregiver Life is excited to collaborate with Family Operating Base to produce a 4-episode special highlighting caregiver best practices that anyone can learn from. Each episode will feature Family Operating Base  Founder Raquel Derrick along with a special guest who will share their  ‘Pro Tips’ for overcoming challenges. Our 4-part special will explore the following topics: Part 1: Living Virtually, featuring Independent Travel Agent and Homeschooling parent Amanda Fleener Part 2: The Complexities of Grief, featuring Wounded Warrior Project’s Dan Miller Part 3: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Part 4: Resiliency in the Face of Diversity During  Episode 40, we explored the challenges and rewards, of living virtually including work-from-home pro tips and an inside look at successful homeschooling. We’d love to hear from you, too. Please tag us in your posts about living virtually using hashtag #thiscaregiverlife. Find us on social media:,, and We’d love to receive your thoughts and request, so send us an email or even a voice memo to …until next time! More links: Jenn’s pro tip is to learn to say NO! Read her article about this underused strategy, Mar’s Blog has a plethora of pro tips, Join the Family Operating Base FOB Community on Facebook:
June 7, 2020
E39: Caregiver Bucket List
Mar and Jen review recent #caregiverchaos, doing deep work on self-care, and giving yourself permission to course correct. Show us how you take time for YOU. Post a pic or share a story on social media, tag us, and use the hashtag #selfkindness. You may just win a surprise from This Caregiver Life. Mar recently received a surprise gift box from Bitty & Beau's Coffee: more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee – it’s an experience. The shop is run by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities-check them out!  The National Alliance on Caregiving 2020 survey results are in. Read the results here:  Want to be one of the coolest 11,000 people on the planet? Follow Mar's blog:  Have an idea for our podcast? Want to share your thoughts with our listeners LIVE? We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email, a voice message, or a link to your favorite resource. Love our show? Please leave us a 5-star rating and don't forget to share our show on your social media. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @thiscaregiverlife and Twitter @thiscaregiver ...until next time...
June 6, 2020
E38: Pandemic - Caregivers May Lead The Way
Raquel Derrick, Ph.D., of Family Operating Base, joined Mary to share with our listeners how we are partnering in a four-part series.  Family Operating Base, FOB – Community, is an effort created by Raquel: When I first envisioned the FOB, it was to be a brick and mortar place of community support for military-connected families. Recent times have called me to revisit and revamp my idea. After all, brick and mortar areirrelevant at this time and we could all use a little community connection, military affiliation or not! Please join the FOB Facebook group for daily posts to promote a little sanity and hope during these strange times! New members are welcome. As caregivers, we have much to offer non-caregivers in this post-COVID pandemic life. We are versatile, flexible, understanding, and compassion that runs deep. In cooperative effort TCL and FOB are creating the following four podcasts with caregivers as subject matter experts in pandemic life before there was a pandemic. The topics we will explore are: 1. Adapting to a Virtual Life 2. Adjusting to a New Normal 3. Healthy Mind, Healthy Body 4. Resilience Visit us on social media:
May 22, 2020
E37: Continuing On
Mar interviews her husband, Tom, about his interest in oil painting. Talent v Effort. Mar and Tom have been married for nearly forty years. Tom had encephalitis in 1993. She has been caring for him since then. To know them is to know they are partners in life, and for life. Spouses first, caregiver, and care recipient second.  Encephalitis, a brain infection, impacted Tom's working memory and executive functioning. It did not, however, affect his optimistic, positive outlook on life. Even after a diagnosis of service-connected Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2010, his spirit remains indomitable. He doesn't give in. He doesn't give up. Take a listen as he shares his take on why painting matters, and matters, to him. To see some of his paintings visit Mar's Fine Art America website. Prints are available for sale.  Among other things, Mar shares their journey on her blog. Visit us on social media:  ...until next time...
May 19, 2020
E36: Every Picture Tells A Story
Mar and Jen catch up, 21st century-style, and discuss all the ways we can tell stories. Mar shares how her love of photography has been affected by limited travel, exploring the ups and downs of adjusting our hobbies to meet current lifestyle restrictions. Learn more about Mary's journey through life behind the lens and read evergreen blog articles at:  Jenn's life-long love of storytelling led her to co-author the book Friends for Life: Strangers Brought Together by the War in Iraq, along with two other published nonfiction titles.  Jenn is the proud recipient of the Eric Hoffer Award for Legacy Nonfiction. She is currently writing a novel set in the 1970's of a childhood interrupted by family strife and economic struggle.   Have an idea for our podcast? Want to share your thoughts with our listeners LIVE? We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email, a voice message, or a link to your favorite resource: Love our show? Please leave us a 5-star rating and don't forget to share our show on your social media. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @thiscaregiverlife and Twitter @thiscaregiver ...until next time...
May 4, 2020
E35: This COVID Life
Jenn & Mar check in with each other as the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders continue.  We talk about the self-care medical professionals practice, as exampled in an episode of Mar’s favorite tv show NEW AMSTERDAM, and we discuss the pros and cons of mentoring other caregivers. Have an idea for our podcast? Want to share your thoughts with our listeners LIVE?  We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email, a voice message, or a link to your favorite resource.  Love our show? Please leave us a 5-star rating and don't forget to share our show on your social media.  Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @thiscaregiverlife and Twitter @thiscaregiver ...until next time... 4/17/2020
April 27, 2020
E34: There, There. Now, Now: Caregiving During the COVID-19 Crisis
Jenn & Mar check in with each other as the COVID-19 Crisis Progresses. On a scale of 1-10, where are you? Use these links to explore the resources from today's show: Meditation is the beginning of mindfulness. Get started with guided meditation by Tara Brach: Download the Calm App: Read Brené Brown's "Gifts of Imperfection": Read Stars & Stripes article featuring Jenn & Mar: "Safety Shaming" is all over social media. Shaming of any time is a bullying tactic. Bullying is never okay. Learn about bullying: Quote from Gautama Buddha: "There is one thing that, when cultivated and regularly practiced, leads to deep spiritual intention, to peace, to mindfulness and clear comprehension, to vision and knowledge, to a happy life here and now, and to the culmination of wisdom and awakening. And what is that one thing? It is mindfulness centered on the body." Have an idea for our podcast? Want to share your thoughts with our listeners LIVE? We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email, a voice message, or a link to your favorite resource. Love our show? Please leave us a 5-star rating and don't forget to share our show on your social media. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @thiscaregiverlife and Twitter @thiscaregiver ...until next time...
April 10, 2020
E33: Worst Case Reality - Caregiving and Coronavirus
The COVID-19 crisis has impacted millions across the globe. For caregivers, this time is uncertain and frightening. In this episode, Mar and Jenn discuss the effects of the Coronavirus on their families and ways anyone living this caregiver life can try to cope.  To listen to Episdoe 11: Worse Case Scenario, find a link to your favorite platform here: As mentioned, AARP Community Connections helps people find or start a mutual aid group so they can help the people in their community most affected by the Coronavirus:  Military and Veteran caregivers looking for support and resources can visit the Elizabeth Dole Foundation website:  Please connect with us on social media:  Facebook Instagram Twitter  EMail - Thanks for listening. 
April 10, 2020
E32: Alex Balbir with Wounded Warrior Project Talks Traumatic Brain Injury
March is Brain Injury Awareness and we're focusing our efforts on increasing awareness of traumatic brain injury and the challenge. Throughout the month, Mar and Jenn will speak with experts working in the field of TBI, provide strategies for coping and share resources to educate the community. In this episode of This Caregiver Life, we are joined by Alex Balbir, Ph.D.  Alex serves as the Independence Services and Warrior Care Network Director at Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).  A graduate of University North Carolina and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Alex is also an officer in the US Navy Reserve. During our conversation with Alex, we explore the multi-layered topic of Traumatic Brain Injury, known as TBI. What is TBI? A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury). People with TBI may experience moderate to severe disabilities that can interfere with their regular activities and quality of life. Cognitive function (e.g., impaired attention or memory); Motor function (e.g., extremity weakness or poor coordination and balance); Sensation (e.g., loss of hearing, vision, perception, or touch); and Emotion (e.g., depression, anxiety, aggression, loss of impulse control, or personality changes). Caring for loved one with TBI can be challenging, exhausting, and sometimes even overwhelming. In this episode, we discuss those challenges, the ways WWP helps veterans and caregivers, and ways we can all support those in our community who are living with TBI. Learn more about Wounded Warrior Project and its mission to WWP mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Have an idea for our podcast? Want to share your thoughts with our listeners LIVE? We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email, a voice message, or a link to your favorite resource. Love our show? Please leave us a 5-star rating and don't forget to share our show on your social media. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @thiscaregiverlife and Twitter @thiscaregiver
March 26, 2020
E31: Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Dr. Norman joins us on this podcast to share her impactful work in the field of Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI, rehabilitation. To say it is work is a misnomer. It is Dr. Norman's passion in life. When speaking with her it is easy to absorb her love for what she does every day for those with TBI's. Not surprisingly Dr. Norman also gives of her time in a volunteer capacity by serving on the board of TBI Warrior Foundation.  Dr. Norman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the School of Health Professions at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. She earned her undergraduate degree from Florida International University, her Master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  During her training, Dr. Norman was an American Speech-Hearing Association New Century Scholar and an NIH Predoctoral Fellow. In 2018, as a new faculty member at UT Health, she received both a School of Health Professions Pilot Grant and a Texas Society for Allied Health Professions Research Grant. Her research has been published in various peer-reviewed journals such as Brain Injury, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Military Medicine, Neuropsychologia, and Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Her research centers on improving the lives of individuals with a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). She primarily uses experimental methods to investigate cognitive-communication disorders after mTBI.  As a recent recipient of the KL2 career development award at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Dr. Norman will use innovative methods such as discourse analysis and electroencephalogram (EEG) measures to richly characterize language output and shed light on the underlying cognitive mechanisms of language performance after mTBI. Dr. Norman aims to standardize assessment for mTBI-related communication disorders and use precise measurement to develop appropriate behavioral interventions to improve life participation for the mTBI population. In the fall of 2019, Dr. Norman was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award and the George Kudolo Award for Excellence in Research at the University of Texas School of Health Professions. #BrainInjury #TBI #Rehabilitation #Caregivers Visit us on social media:
March 24, 2020
E30: Hold On To Hope
Judi Logan joins us on this podcast, Hold on to Hope. Judi's son, Justin, was in a terrible accident in which he flipped his pick-up truck. Justin suffered a serious traumatic brain injury, TBI. He was in a coma for two and a half weeks. Judi shares with us the powerful story of becoming a caregiver to her 17-year-old son.  Visit us on social media: #TBI #TraumaticBrainInjury #ChangeYourMind #Caregiver #ThisCaregiverLife 
March 20, 2020
E29: Asking For Help Can't Hurt
Sherri Piper joins us on the podcast. Sherri is married for 25 years to her husband Jay. They have four sons. Sherri has been a caregiver to her husband for six years. Among his other injuries, he has a mild traumatic brain injury, TBI. She is the executive assistant for TBI Warrior Foundation. TBI Warrior Foundation is our sponsor for this episode. What does Sherri do for fun? She is a background actress.  When asked Sherri what thoughts she could share for a caregiver just starting on this journey she said: Ask For Help. Such great advice.  Visit us on social media: #TBI #TraumaticBrainInjury #ChangeYourMind #Caregivers #ThisCaregiverLIfe 
March 17, 2020
E28: Injury Prevention For Caregivers
Dr. Quinard Webb, a physical therapist, works closely with TBI Warrior Foundation. He provides physical therapy to TBI Warrior Foundation clients. He also participates in their caregiver training workshops. Dr. Webb is a wealth of information on rehabilitation and wellness. He shares with us ideas on how to prevent injury for the caregiver through the concept of self-regulation.  Dr. Webb has a growing mobile practice in Texas: RenewU Therapy & Wellness. He is located in the San Antonio, Texas area. However, anyone who would like to seek him out for therapy can do so as long as they live in Texas. He uses technology for those who do not live in close proximity to Austin. If you would like to reach out to Dr. Webb you can do so via his Facebook page: RenewU Therapy & Wellness or email at Visit us on social media: #TBI #TraumaticBrainInjury #ChangeYourMind #PhysicalTherapy #Caregivers #ThisCaregiverLife 
March 13, 2020
E27: Crystal Clear On Caregiving - A Millennial Shares Her Journey
The month of March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Meet Crystal Holdipp who cares for her mom with a brain injury as a result of a stroke. Crystal's caregiving extends to her dad as well. Her dad is battling cancer. She is an amazing young woman.  Currently, Crystal is doing advocacy work for persons who have disabilities and impairments through Inspire Bermuda and works on their leadership team as a board member. In ministry, Crystal is a youth leader at Cities of Refuge Ministries where the pastors are Rev. John Woolridge and Rev. Oral Barnett. Recently, she has been given the task to oversee a ministry component called ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ as an outreach to youth and adults.  Crystal is also a published author: Poems From The Heart Visit us on social media: #BrainInjuryAwareness #ChangeYourMind 
March 10, 2020
E26: Let's Talk Intimacy
In this podcast, Let's Talk Intimacy, Jen Ransil joined us for an open conversation regarding intimacy and disabilities for couples. Jen is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Pennsylvania; Adjunct Professor, Human Development and Family Science, Messiah College and Adjunct Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Evangelical Theological Seminary.  When Jen is not teaching she has a private practice in which she sees clients with couple/family issues, mental health, trauma and PTSD, and pre/post-deployment, as well as, wounded veterans' families. She specializes in sex therapy and relationship issues within military families.  Visit us on social media: #ThisCaregiverLife #Intimacy #TBI #ChangeYourMind
March 6, 2020
E25: Traumatic Brain Injury & Caregiving
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. In this episode of This Caregiver Life, we are joined by health scientist Roxana E. Delgado, Ph.D., a national advocate and the wife of Sergeant First Class retired Victor L. Medina, MRC, CRC, a combat-wounded, Purple Heart Recipient veteran. She assumed the caregiving role, which has inspired her advocacy work and career path. With over a decade of experience in military medical research in the areas of health and wellbeing, most recently working with military families and caregivers, Roxana is active in the military and veteran caregiver community and is an Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow Alumni representing the State of Texas. She is a co-author of “The Caregivers Companion” book and serves as an advisor to several organizations aiming to improve the health, wellbeing and national policies for wounded, ill and injured veterans and their families. During our conversation with Roxana, we explore the multi-layered topic of Traumatic Brain Injury, known as TBI. What is TBI? A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury).  People with TBI may experience moderate to severe disabilities that can interfere with their regular activities and quality of life. Cognitive function (e.g., impaired attention or memory); Motor function (e.g., extremity weakness or poor coordination and balance); Sensation (e.g., loss of hearing, vision, perception, or touch); and Emotion (e.g., depression, anxiety, aggression, loss of impulse control, or personality changes). Caring for a loved one with TBI can be challenging, exhausting, and sometimes even overwhelming. In this episode, we discuss those challenges, tactics for coping, and ways we can all support those in our community who are living with TBI. Learn more about how our sponsor, TBI Warrior Foundation, and their mission to improve the quality of life of veterans, civilians, and children living with brain injury and their caregivers, through community integration, education, and advancement programs. Read more about the Brain Injury Association of America's March Awareness #ChangeYourMind campaign: Have an idea for our podcast? Want to share your thoughts with our listeners LIVE? We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email, a voice message, or a link to your favorite resource. Love our show? Please leave us a 5-star rating and don't forget to share our show on your social media. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram (@thiscaregiverlife) and Twitter (@thiscaregiver).
March 4, 2020
E24: Caregiver DOWN
Jenn and Mar catch up with one another for the first time in a few weeks. Jenn had the flu. Mar had surgery.  Proving once again as much as caregivers often seem to be able to do it all, they, too, are human beings subject to illness and the demise of body parts. They were both caregivers DOWN the last few weeks. They are on the mend and looking forward to a yearful of interesting and engaging podcasts on "This Caregiver Life." Visit us on social media:
February 23, 2020
E23: Healing and the Holidays
On December 21, 2004, a suicide bomber attacked a military dining facility in Mosul, Iraq. Hundreds of service members were having lunch at the time, including Jenn’s younger brother James, an 20-year old Army Specialist serving with the Deuce Four Stryker Combat Brigade. In total, 14 U.S. soldiers were killed along with 4 U.S. civilian employees of Halliburton, and 4 Iraqi soldiers. Another 72 people were Injured, including 51 U.S. soldiers. At the time, it was the single deadliest suicide attack on U.S. soldiers. For the men of Deuce Four and their loved ones, Christmas time would never be the same. Thank you for listening to this special episode. Honor the lives of those lost:
December 21, 2019
E22: The Gift of Us *holiday series episode*
Co-host Mary and her husband, Tom, talk about the holidays and stress. From 1993 when Tom was battling a brain infection to his current all-out war with ALS they give some insight on how they make it work in the best way possible.  Visit us on social media:
December 20, 2019
E21: What About You *holiday series episode*
Shawn Moore, a caregiver to her husband, and founder of "Caregivers on the Homefront" talks about the importance of caregivers remembering who they are, and the ways in which she has navigated the holidays in recent years.  Visit us on social media:
December 9, 2019
E20: A Brand New Day *holiday series episode*
Tara's husband, Todd, was wounded in Afghanistan. Two of the men Todd was serving with, who were dear friends of both Todd and Tara, died in battle, on the day Todd was injured. It also happened to be Tara and Todd's anniversary. Tara shares how they changed things up so as to continue to honor the men that lost their lives on the day they died while celebrating their love and life commitment to one another with full hearts on a brand new day.  Visit us on social media:
December 2, 2019
E19: Letting Go *holiday series episode*
Roxana Delgado joins us for a conversation about reducing stress and letting it go. Roxana cares for her husband, Victor, a veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury while deployed.  Visit us on social media:
November 25, 2019
E18: Upside Down Holidays *holiday series episode*
Caregiver, Lara Garey, loves the holidays. She shares that over the years, traditions evolved that her family loves. When her husband was diagnosed with ALS she created new ones, like an upside Christmas tree, to help them lovingly hold onto the memories of those traditions pre-disease.  Visit us on social media:
November 18, 2019
E17: This Life We Have *holiday series episode*
Brian Vines, a veteran, joins us for a frank conversation regarding the holidays and caregiving. He shares insights on how he has cared for his wife, wounded veteran, while also having his mother living with them for a period of time.  It would seem that there are not nearly as many male caregivers as females. Brian helps dispel that myth when he shares that at least 40% of caregivers are males.  Visit us on social media:
November 11, 2019
Bonus Episode: Time Away
Mar recently had some time away from daily caregiving. She finds it reviving and energizing. She encourages caregivers to find some time to themselves once in a while. You can find the written piece on Mar's blog at Visit us on social media:
November 5, 2019
E16: Building Your Community Care Team
Colleen believes building a good team with family, healthcare providers, and community is highly important in helping her to be the best caregiver possible for her care recipient, her husband. We couldn't agree more.  Visit us on social media:
November 4, 2019
E15: Politico Panel - Caring on the Homefront
Jenn shares her recent experience as a panelist on Politico’s program “Caring on the Homefront”. On October 17, 2019, Politico hosted a panel discussion on improving policies that could help military/veteran caregivers. Jennifer was joined on the panel by Lisa Pape Deputy Chief Patient Care Services, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Terri Tanielian Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation & Fellow,  Military Service Initiative, George W. Bush Presidential Center, and Ashish Vaziran Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Military Family Association.  Visit us on social media: #CaringOnTheHomefront #Politico #ThisCaregiverLife 
October 28, 2019
E14: The Future of Family Care with Wellthy's CEO Lindsay Jurist-Rosner
Lindsay Jurist-Rosner is the CEO of Wellthy, Inc. based in New York City. Wellthy is helping the 66 million Americans who care for aging, chronically ill and disabled loved ones. With Wellthy, Lindsay is building the company she needed throughout the 28-years of caring for her mother. Prior to founding Wellthy in 2014, Lindsay was in the advertising technology and media industries with functional responsibilities in marketing, product, and sales. Lindsay served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing at NY-based advertising technology startup, Simulmedia. Before that, Lindsay ran Marketing Research at Machinima; worked in product and strategic marketing at Microsoft; worked in marketing at LA-based startup, Spot Runner; and ran the west coast advertising and marketing relationships for The Atlantic. Lindsay received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA. To find out more about Wellthy go to  Visit us on social media:
October 6, 2019
E13: 2nd Time Around
Meet Lisa who balances her growing career with caregiving for her husband. Lisa shares insight into how she makes it all work, and how any can keep moving forward in their life, despite setbacks. We also learn about They connect clients with board-certified, leading doctors across the country for an expert second opinion via video or phone within 3 to 5 days. the best part is their Care Team coordinates all the details, so you can focus on one thing – getting the best care possible.  This season is all about asking for help, where to find it, and how to accept it when it's offered. We hope you enjoy this episode. Please consider leaving us a 5-star rating, and if you're a superfan, share a link to this podcast on your social media. Visit us on social media: Send us a note:
September 26, 2019
E12: She Loved Him First
In this episode, Denise Albea shares with us the journey she has been on caring for her dad and how she has found help along the way. Her dad has Parkinson's Disease and attends a program, Elderhaus, for people who are 55 years old and up. Elderhaus is a program that provides community and home-based care. Season 2 is focused on help: getting help, asking for help, accepting help, offering help. We will explore the various ways in which caregivers have been in the help mode, and how they have addressed it. We will also have conversations with organizations and agencies that sometimes have the help we need.  Visit us on social media:
September 16, 2019
Bonus Episode: Ready For Anything
Jenn and Mar share their recent experience preparing for Hurricane Dorian, as well as, the focus of the second season of "This Caregiver Life".  Please follow us on our social media platforms. Have something you want to share with us? Leave us a message! If you like us please give us a 5-star rating!  Visit us on social media:
September 6, 2019
E11: Worst Case Scenario
This episode is a rebroadcast of our companion podcast, Sarcasm Sisters. We relive Mar’s experience preparing for an enduring Hurricane Florence. Caregivers will find tips and suggestions when preparing for natural disasters themselves, and anyone can learn how to support caregivers during stressful times. Thanks for listening.  Visit us on social media:
September 6, 2019
E10: Bringing Home the War with Author Marjorie Pennington
Marjorie Pennington, author of "Bring Home the War: The Life of a Military Caregiver", joined us for an in-depth conversation about being a military caregiver to her husband. "Bringing Home the War" is a powerful story of faith, and commitment.  Marjorie says this: "This book is the culmination of a long journey. It wasn't a journey my husband or I can say we chose, but rather it was one that chose us nonetheless. I decided to write this book as an insight into the life of being a  caregiver for military soldiers injured by war. I wanted to share our  journey so that it could inspire others going through similar battles  and also provide some insight into how to cope when the going gets  rough, as it inevitably does." To follow us on Facebook look for This Caregiver Life where we post articles, resources, and items of interest to caregivers throughout June and July.  Visit us on social media:
June 18, 2019
E9: Burnout with Jean Montjoy, MSW, LCSW
 Jean Montjoy joins us today in a candid conversation about burnout. Jean holds a Masters in Social Work, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She chats with us today about burnout from a professional caregiver perspective. She shares with us her journey as a social worker, how burnout sneaks up on her, and how she has addressed it. She is a kind, compassionate, transparent, and overall good human.  Visit us on social media:
June 14, 2019
E8: Carrying On
Caira Benson is a seasoned professional in the nonprofit community, a homeschooling mother of five, and caregiver for her disabled veteran husband and three of their children. Her dedication to providing the best quality of life to her clan is inspirational. Join us as we learn about Caira's journey as a Hidden Hero, and we learn how she manages to even make time for herself.  Caira is an Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow, proudly representing South Dakota.  This is real life. This is Caregiver Life.   Visit us on social media:
May 8, 2019
E7: Veteran Directed Care - A Call To Action
Our guest today is Karee White, an Army veteran, married to an Army veteran for 30 years, mother to nine children...yes you read that correctly, and a caregiver to her daughter Kimmy. Kimmy is a wounded veteran with a severe traumatic brain injury. Veteran Directed Care is a VA program Kimmy is part of, and Karee almost can't live without.  Veteran Directed Care (VDC) is: The Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS)  program is designed to allow veterans who are potential candidates for nursing home placement to receive that level of care in their homes,  their caregivers' homes or in non-supportive, independent living communities (not assisted living residences). The program provides veterans with a budget and allows them to choose their own care  providers in place of receiving care services from the VA health care system. In some cases, the family members of the veteran can be paid for the care they provide. ( Visit us on social media:
April 30, 2019
E6: Caring for Children with Severe Allergies
 Megan Smith is an Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow and joins us today as our guest. Megan is a caregiver to her husband who was injured in Afghanistan, and a mom of two boys. In addition to her beloved role of mom to her sons, one of them requires additional care. Her oldest has severe myopia, asthma, and food allergies. Megan is kind enough to give us an inside peek at how she juggles her responsibilities while also being a mom.   Visit us on social media:
April 23, 2019
E5: Cherish The Moments
Lara Garey is our guest on this podcast. Lara is the spouse, and caregiver, of an Air Force veteran with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS. Lara is also a newly appointed Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow. In this podcast, Lara does not hold back on how deep she is into the caregiving role. She fit in this interview while her husband, Tom, was in ICU.  Visit us on social media:
April 16, 2019
E4: Self Care
What is self-care and why do we need it? Is your go-to self-care healthy? Is it working? Explore all things self-care in this episode of This Caregiver Life, and visit our Facebook page where you can ask questions, share ideas and learn more about caregiving. This is real life. This is our caregiver life. Visit us on social media:
March 12, 2019
E3: When Sepsis Strikes
Mar and Jenn have a frank conversation regarding a sudden, serious illness: sepsis. Jenn is a sepsis survivor of two and a half years. Mar's spouse, Tom, in addition to having ALS for eight and a half years, recently survived sepsis. They share their personal experiences, and signs and symptoms of sepsis.  Visit us on social media:
February 12, 2019
E2: ALS - Roasting For Research
This Caregiver Life podcast today focuses on a unique fundraising effort for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Roasting for Research. Please join us to learn more about this exceptional campaign that raises awareness, and funding, to help beat back ALS.  Visit us on social media:
January 20, 2019
E1: Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of A Bathroom
In their opening 'This Caregiver Life' podcast Jenn and Mar, caregivers to their veterans, share their thoughts on Chicago O'Hare's new, accessible bathroom: “Changing Places Restroom”.  Visit us on social media: 
January 11, 2019