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18 Fearless Years


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief Behind the Greasepaint

My brother, Steven, is a terrific cook. The skills that he has as a chef must be in part genetic; our mom is and both grandmothers were excellent chefs. I, however, have been known to actually burn water.  So, it is no great surprise when I find him engaged in recipe swapping with the folks we meet at the Fearless Caregiver Conferences.  I remember walking in on one such conversation he was having with Grammy Award winning legend Della Reese.

Della has been the keynote speaker at three Fearless Caregiver Conferences over the years and graced the cover of Today’s Caregiver magazine when she gave an interview in which she spoke frankly about her life with diabetes and as a family caregiver. That morning, Steven and Della were talking about her recipe for navy bean pie and her story was as funny as the recipe was mouthwatering. She later shared personal caregiving stories with a room filled with 400 family caregivers. Although the topic of navy bean pie did not arise, she fielded many questions about her caregiving and taking care of herself as a person living with diabetes with grace and honesty.

The same situation has played out at every Fearless Caregiver Conference in which we had a celebrity caregiver as a keynote speaker. In Cleveland and Phoenix, caregivers asked Debbie Reynolds about caring for her mom, not the making of Singing in the Rain. My concept is that when you bring 400 family caregivers and a celebrity who is or has been a family caregiver together, what you actually have is a room filled with 401 family caregivers. Caring for and about our loved ones are the ties that bind us all together.

Hearing Dixie Carter talk about the anguish of caring for her beloved father or Dana Reeve talk about the techniques that she had to create on the fly to deal with insurance company challenges shows us that family caregiving is one experience which challenges us all and no amount of money or fame erases the depth of pain that every single loving caregiver feels, regardless if the statue on the mantel is an Oscar or a bowling league trophy.

We are therefore proud to announce the release of our new book, Caregiving Ties that Bind. In the book, we have gathered some of the most interesting and significant celebrity cover interviews from Today’s Caregiver magazine over the past 17 years, as well as previously unshared stories about our fellow caregivers with the famous faces.

As caregivers, there is much to be learned from any conversation with our fellow caregivers, whether in a pharmacy waiting line or hearing the personal stories from these caregivers who also entertain, educate and motivate us. So many times, behind the greasepaint and away from the bright lights, they also have loved ones for whom they care, and they face many of the emotional challenges that we all face on a daily basis.

What are the caregiving ties that bind us all together, no matter what situation we find ourselves in as family caregivers?  The answer is simple.  It is our love of family.


  Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine
Wednesday February 20, 2013


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