Celebrity Spotlight

Caregiving Club CEO, Sherri Snelling, interviews celebrities from movies, TV, Broadway, sports, news, music and politics who are or have been a family caregiver.

In November we honor all the nation’s caregivers – those caring for older parents or family members, those caring for spouses, those caring for siblings or special needs children and those caring for friends — with special interviews all month long.

Read all the celebrity interviews by clicking here.

Booklovers – The Home of Caregiving Club Reading Lists

CC Reading List Books smallCaregiving Club realizes that caregivers have precious little time to read but we felt compelled to create our reading lists for you anyway.  You may only read a chapter at a time or pick up the book once your caregiving is done.  Or we hope those who have not yet stepped into the caregiving spotlight may read one of these books to help you prepare to care.

We’ve chosen our favorite books in the following categories (see below for full lists):  Family Caregiving, Spousal Caregiving, Alzheimer’s Caregiving, Caregiving and End of Life, Caregiving Spirituality and Inspiration, Caregiver Humor, Caregiving Books for Kids and Caregiver Health & Wellness.

We’ll be publishing these lists twice a year – March and November.  We chose those dates because March 2 is Read Across America Day – commemorating Dr. Seuss who was a caregiver for his wife.  November is National Family Caregiver Month and since it’s right before the holidays we felt it was a good time to update our lists.

If we missed a great book you feel other caregivers should read, let us know.  Email us at: info@caregivingclub.com.

And, don’t forget to add Caregiving Club CEO Sherri Snelling’s book, A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Careto your library.

Happy Reading!

Web family caregiving

Family Caregiving List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web spousal caregivingSpousal Caregiving List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web alzheimers caregivingAlzheimer’s Caregiving Journeys List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web end of lifeEnd of Life List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web caregiver health wellnessCaregiver Health and Wellness List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web inspirationSpiritual and Inspirational Caregiving List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web celeb caregiving journeysCelebrity Caregiving Journeys List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web humorHumor in Caregiving List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web caregiver kidsCaregiving Books for Children List vMar 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrity Caregiver Interviews

When it comes to caregiving, celebrities from TV, films, sports, news and music are just like the rest of us.  While some may have more financial resources available to them, they still face a fragmented health care system and experience the emotional roller coaster that is the caregiving journey.  Our Caregiving Club CEO Sherri Snelling has been interviewing these celebrities for articles and her new book to be published in 2013.  Read the latest Celebrity Caregiver Interviews below.

 

Glenn Close

Jodie Foster

Marg Helgenberger

Diane Keaton

Joan Lunden

Sylvia Mackey – Mrs. 88

David Murdock

Suze Orman

Alan & David Osmond

Holly Robinson Peete

Brooke Shields

Alana Stewart

Jill Eikenberry & Michael Tucker

Meredith Vieira

Reese Witherspoon

Catherine Zeta Jones

 

Celebrity Caregiving Interviews Oct 2013

Diane Keaton: New Bio Offers Lessons on Love, Legacies and Learning to be a Caregiver

Photo credit: Firooz Zahedi 2011

This week Diane Keaton published a memoir Then Again which is a wonderful journey through the lives of two women:  Diane and her mother, Dorothy Hall.  As opposed to some of the Mommie Dearest-type celebrity books, Diane weaves together her life and career with the memories and mementos of her mother, whom she calls “the love of my life.”

Before Dorothy passed in 2008 at the age of 86, she had lived 15 years with Alzheimer’s disease – a progressive brain disease where symptoms gradually worsen over a period of years.

Today, more than five million Americans are diagnosed with this disease and the Alzheimer’s Association tells us that one out of every two people over the age of 85 will develop Alzheimer’s.

What was so poignant to me as I read this book was Diane’s description of caring for her mother while also caring for her two small adopted children, which we know makes her one of the 24 million Sandwich Generation caregivers.  According to the Pew Research Center just over one of every eight Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent.  In addition, between seven to 10 million adults care for their aging parents long distance.

In the book, Diane describes her Sandwich Generation role this way:

“As Mother struggled to complete sentences, I watched Dexter, my daughter, and a few years later little Duke, my son, begin to form words as a means to capture the wonder of their developing minds.   The state of being a woman in between two loves – one as a daughter, the other as a mother – has changed me.  It’s been a challenge to witness the betrayal of such a cruel disease while learning to give love with the promise of stability.”  

Diane’s Rehearsal for the Role of a Lifetime:  Caregiver

I have always loved Diane Keaton.  I love her quirky sensibility, her fashionable love for gloves and hats, her brilliance as both a dramatic (The Godfather, Reds) and romantic comedy (Annie Hall, Something’s Gotta Give) actress, her fearless independence as a single woman, her love of turtleneck sweaters, her becoming a mother at age 50 and of course, her Southern California-girl roots.

But, until I started reading her book and doing more research on her career, I had not realized that Diane had been in a dress rehearsal for her role as caregiver to her mother through some of her movie roles.

Perhaps one of her best roles was in Marvin’s Room (1996) also starring Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio and Hume Cronyn.  In the movie, Diane plays “Bessie” who is a family caregiver for her father (Cronyn) as well as her aunt played by Gwen Verdon.

We eventually find out that Bessie has been diagnosed with leukemia and her survival may depend on a bone marrow transplant from her estranged sister, played by Streep.  The film then delivers its message that even in dysfunctional families, there is a healing power to love.

Diane also played a reluctant caregiver to an ever-devilish Jack Nicholson in one of my favorite movies, Something’s Gotta Give  (on a side note:  I read an article that described director Nancy Meyers’ movies, of which Something’s Gotta Give is one of her best, as “real estate porn for women” – I agree and loved Diane’s Hamptons home in the movie!).

Jack, who had been dating Diane’s daughter played by the 30-something Amanda Peet, suffers a heart attack and must be watched over by a disapproving but ultimately romantically intrigued Diane.

In The Other Sister, Diane played the mother to a mentally challenged daughter played by Juliette Lewis, and she directed and starred in Hangin’ Up about three sisters, where she played alongside Meg Ryan and Lisa Kudrow, caring for their terminally ill father played by Walter Matthau.

Leaving a Legacy

What is perhaps the best lesson of Diane’s book is the legacy that she has left for her children.  Then Again is not just about Diane and her mother, but a gift to her children.  She describes how her mother kept scrapbooks and pieces of paper with the word “Think” written on them.  The lesson for her children through this book is Diane will be the torchbearer for her mother’s mantra to “Think.”

I have spoken to so many family caregivers who truly believe that creating a scrapbook, writing in a journal, helping a loved one to create their legacy or life’s story or simply posting stories to a personal online community like those you can create at Lotsa Helping Hands, are therapeutic in the process of watching a loved one age and decline or struggle with an illness or disease.

It is Diane’s character in Marvin’s Room, Bessie, who has sacrificed everything to care for her aunt and father, but who has found fulfillment and contentment in her role as caregiver. In Bessie’s words, “I’ve had such love in my life. I look back, and I’ve had such love.”
Note:  Sherri Snelling is writing a book on celebrities who are caregivers to be published in 2012.