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This Caregiver Life

Author: Mary Hahn Ward

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Hosts Jennifer Mackinday & 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!
27 Episodes
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 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: --- Send in a voice message:
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.  --- Send in a voice message:
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.  --- Send in a voice message:
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.  --- Send in a voice message:
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.  --- Send in a voice message:
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 femails. Brian helps dispel that myth when he shares that at least 40% of caregivers are males.  --- Send in a voice message:
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.  --- Send in a voice message:
Jenn shares her recent experience as a panelist on Politico’s program “Caring on the Homefront” --- Send in a voice message:
S2E3: 2nd Time Around

S2E3: 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. You can connect to us online at, on Twitter @ThisCaregiver. Interested in being a guest or sponsoring our show? Send us a note: --- Send in a voice message:
S2E2: She Loved Him First

S2E2: She Loved Him First


Welcome to Season 2 of "This Caregiver Life". "He Loved Her First", 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.  --- Send in a voice message:
S2E1: Worst Case Scenario

S2E1: 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. Be sure to connect with us on social media @thiscaregiverlife on Facebook and @thiscaregiver on Twitter. You can also send us an email, . --- Send in a voice message:
Welcome to our last episode of Season One. 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." As we close out Season One we thank all of our listeners for following us. We will be back in August with a kickoff to Season Two. 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.  --- Send in a voice message:
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.   --- Send in a voice message:
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”.  --- Send in a voice message:
S2E12: The Gift of Us

S2E12: The Gift of Us


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.  --- Send in a voice message:
Bonus Episode: Time Away

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 --- Send in a voice message:
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 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  --- Send in a voice message:
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. You can find us on Facebook at This Caregiver Life, on Twitter at ThisCargiverLife@ThisCaregiver, and on Instagram at thiscaregiverlife. Have something you want to share with us? Leave us a message! If you like us please give us a 5 star rating!  --- Send in a voice message:
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 kind, compassionate, transparent, and overall good human.  --- Send in a voice message:
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, family members of the veteran can be paid for the  care they provide. ( --- Send in a voice message:
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