Aging Parents

Posted on 01/26/2015 at 8:37pm

I’m participating in a Virtual Blog Tour that the now two-time author Carolyn Brent is participating in over a 12-day period at this time. Please follow her Virtual Blog @carolynabrent on twitter; I’m participating in it with her and will be sharing her answers to some spiritual questions related to caregivers this coming b562648c61b015d2bcaf279763371c27Thursday.

Carolyn A. Brent is an author and caregiver legislation advocate. She has a brand new book; The Caregiver’s Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally, While Caring for Yourself—coming January 27, 2015, online and in all bookstores near you.

Carolyn’s passion for her subject started when she was caring for her own father who was diagnosed with dementia in 1997. From that experience, she found that neither she nor her family truly understood not only the medical challenges related to aging and chronic illness, but also the financial and emotional weight that these bring to bear on a family.

Since 2008, Carolyn has been a crusader and champion to fight for the caregiver’s (law-abiding) protection rights with her own initiative. Her book, The Caregiver Companion is not just for caregivers—but also for everyone! We all know of —or are acquainted with a situation where a caregiver in our life is taking care of someone; very young, chronically ill, or an elderly loved one in varying degrees. This book is for everyone with the AIM of informing you—on just how much a caregiver means in one’s life.

As a way to promote her book, Carolyn has committed to a virtual blog tour where she will participate over a 12-day period, in a series of blogs to answer The Caregiver_BookCoverquestions for their readers. These questions are of varying topics and can also enlighten readers like you.

The tour started with Cancer Goddess website last Tuesday January 20th and will run until January 31st. Everyday of the tour a tweet will go out with that days links and who is hosting the blog. You can follow Carolyn @carolynabrent on twitter, and even read what she has to say by visiting the blogs. The readers of the Examiner will be one of the stops this coming Thursday January 29th. Carolyn A. Brent is very passionate about this cause and has made it her lifelong mission.

If you care about issues around taking care of the caregiver, you may also be interested in these books – to help with end-of-life care issues:

The Last Adventure of Life and  The Most Important Day of Your Life: Are You Ready? (These books are also available at Amazon.)

Thank you, Carolyn, for your efforts in supporting the Caregiver – such a worthy cause! To our Health, Wealth, and Good Self-careMaria Dancing Heart

Rev. Maria “Dancing Heart” Hoaglund, author of “The Last Adventure of Life” and “The Most Important Day of Your Life?”, is an energy healer, spiritual counselor, and end-of-life coach. She has served as a hospice counselor for many years and is passionate about bringing the subject of death back to life. She also delights in sharing the body-mind-spirit approaches to healing. Maria now serves as Energy Healer and transitions coach for the Japanese too in Sedona, Ariz. E-mail: or visit her Web site

Posted on 01/24/2015 at 7:11pm

Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 5 of the Virtual Carolyn_BrentBlog Tour of author Carolyn A. Brent, whose book, “The Caregiver’s Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself” is celebrating its big Amazon launch on January 27, 2015.

CAROLYN A. BRENT is a nationally acclaimed author, speaker and caregiver advocate. She has dedicated her life to preparing caregivers and their loved ones to face end-of-life issues. Carolyn is the founder of Caregiver Story, a non-profit organization that provides free medical, legal and wellness resources to the public.

Yesterday, Carolyn visited Krystalya Marie where she interviewed Carolyn on the subject of the caregiving talk, self-love/self-care and tips to get family involved.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Carolyn when I got to ask her on the subject of self-care, overcoming guilt and reconcile death/maintaining stance as primary caregiver. I hope you enjoy it.


1902064_10204387813708490_4031024415983079708_nRenee Baribeau: How do you suggest taking care of yourself spiritually, physically and mentally while caring for another?

Carolyn A. Brent: The caregiver should seek out uplifting wellness; individuals, network, and or support groups that are spiritually based, teaching meditation and self-wellness. In my case I did my homework and research for the help, when searching for a coach that was spiritually based, to answer the questions I had in regards to; “Why I had to go through so much pain and heartache as a caregiver?” I recognized I needed someone with the credentials as well as the“caregiving” experience. I did find that person whose office was located over 90 mile from where I lived. However, I received my breakthrough when I found my wellness-coach to help me reach my spiritual understanding. After I received my spiritual blessing with the answers to my questions, I then was able to work on myself from a physical and mental point of view. I highly recommend professional coaches in all three areas; spiritually, physically and mentally. You will find and keep your wellness in check when you alien yourself with likeminded people on a continuous base. In addition, I highly recommend running from all negative people that are in your life. And not feel guilty when doing so. You will find that your caregiving experience will be more peaceful with greater understanding.

Renee Baribeau: How do you work with the guilt of leaving a person during self-care, especially when they do not want a stranger in their home?

Carolyn A. Brent: When caring for a loved one who does not want a stranger in their home. There are several things you can do to help your resistant loved one feel more at ease and relaxed. Remember trust is the biggest concern for your resistant loved one, and only time can correct that.

• As a caregiver, you MUST be patient in this area; in time your love one will trust you and the other person (stranger) in their home. It’s going to take time, and when you are consistent and patient, you will find your job as a caregiver will become more enjoyable, as your loved one feels more relaxed.

• If your loved one is healthy, you may want to take them with you, and the two of you can enjoy self- care & wellness treatments together.

• Start having the person (stranger) that will be caring for your loved one visit on a daily bases posing as a good-old friend of the family. The more your loved one sees and has conversations with the other person (stranger) your loved one will start feeling more relaxed, and at ease and will began trusting that other person (stranger).

• Schedule daily or weekly routines for yourself and loved one. You will find yourself Banishing the guilt when you start taking care of yourself.

Detailed information is in Chapter 8 of “The Caregiver’s Companion: How to Have Crucial Conversations.”

Renee Baribeau: How do you reconcile death of a loved one, and maintain the stance as a primary care giver?

Carolyn A. Brent: The passing of a loved one is never easy and it is one of the most difficult and heart-breaking experiences I have ever dealt with. Unfortunately, family members are not aware of the five stages of grief identified by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. In my case, while caring for my father I was unaware of the fact that I had been grieving for many years during his illness. After feeling depressed and searching for answers about my father illness — I learned about the five stages of grief. After understanding the stages, and where I stood in the process, I was able to move forward by resolving and understanding my grief.

To this day I now focus on all the wonderful things my father taught me during his lifetime, and now I have resolved his passing by creating the positive and powerful legacy about his life that I now share with world. Learn what the five stages of grief are, and create a family bond by becoming a support for each other. Understanding the grieving process and knowing where you are in the process will help you “to grieve mindfully.” To grieve in such a manner means that you and your loved ones have a better understanding about where you are in the process and how to get the help you need to get to the stage of acceptance. Always remember you are not a lone as a caregiver. Primary caregiver, ask for the help you need and always share your concerns, heartache and challenges with a trusted friend or healthcare professional. If you feel you need to take a break form caregiving — then do so. And do not feel guilty in the process. Remember there are qualified professionals to help you!

Learn more in Chapter 5 of “The Caregiver’s Companion: Hospice Care for the End of Life.”


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Carolyn A. Brent and that you’ll check out her book on Amazon January 27, 2015:Caregivers

The Caregiver’s Companion: “Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself.”

Book Trailer — The Caregiver’s Companion:

Get a copy:

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

AND… be sure to follow Carolyn tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Andrea Hylen, who will be interviewing Carolyn on the subject of Caregiver preparation support for the loved ones who soon need it. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to

– See more at:

Posted on 01/23/2015 at 7:07pm
by Krystalya Marie’–

Caregiver Companion Author Carolyn A Brent Talks About Caregiving and Offers Tips


Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 4 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Carolyn A. Brent whose book The Caregiver’s Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself is celebrating its big Amazon launch on January 27th2015.

Carolyn A. Brent is a nationally acclaimed author, speaker and caregiver advocate. She has dedicated her life to preparing caregivers and their loved ones to face end-of-life issues. Carolyn is the founder of Caregiver Story, a non-profit organization that provides free medical, legal and wellness resources to the public.

Yesterday, Carolyn visited Kate Beddow at, where she interviewed Carolyn on the topic of tips for staying healthy, loved ones accepting help and transitioning back to living for yourself.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Carolyn when I got to ask her about starting the caregiving talk, self-love self-care and tips to get family involved. I hope you enjoy it.


16s                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Krystalya Marie':  When is the right time to start conversations about care giving potentials and possibilities for our aging parents? And, what are a few top priority things that should be
considered in this conversation?

Carolyn A. Brent: I suggest now is the right time to start having caregiving, and end-of-life crucial conversations.  However, it is best NOT to have these types of conversations during the holidays because the subject matter maybe too heavy.

  • We should start having these conversations when kids are at the age of when their parents talk to them about; “Where babies come from”?
  • Top priorities:
    Plan an agenda for the conversation. For you and your family members, this could be to discuss your loved one’s health or ways to support the primary caregiver. For you and your loved one, this could be to determine his or her end-of-life wishes; to examine his or her finances, insurance policies or legal documents; or to check on his or her health and well-being.
  • Unexpected life-threatening emergency; “Who will be responsible for your loved ones well being”?

 Krystalya Marie':  I’m a Self-Love enthusiast, how do you suggest that my readers take care of their parents without sacrificing their own needs for self-love and self-care?

Carolyn A. Brent: This is a question many caregivers ask time and time again, to avoid caregiver burnout by sacrificing your own health. The caregiver must adopt positive coping mechanisms.

  • Embrace your feelings instead of running from them. Caregiving can trigger a host of difficult emotions, including anger, fear, resentment, guilt, helplessness and grief.
  • Educate yourself as much as possible about your aging loved one’s condition so that you won’t experience the added strain of not knowing what needs to be done.
  • Know your limits, that is, how much you can realistically handle as a caregiver. Don’t overexert yourself.
  • Ask for Help; ask your immediate family and extended family for help if you feel you are going beyond your limits. Otherwise, seek help in your community, from doctors and from caregiver support groups.
  • Get Respite Care, which will give you the break you need in order to recharge yourself.

Krystalya Marie':  What are some tips you can share with our readers on how best to get all of the family involved, so that no one person takes on the entire Caregiving effort?

Carolyn A. Brent: The everyday care of your loved one should not be left entirely to the primary caregiver simply because this person lives closest or has volunteered. It is best practice to make caregiving a family affair. Even if one person is the primary caregiver, caregiving is accomplished more effectively when it is a team effort.  Caregiving consumes time, energy and financial resources. Relatives of a primary caregiver can make the caregiver’s life easier by providing:

  • Emotional support. Have regular check-ins or conferences. Touch base with one another by phone on a regular basis.
  • Financial support and the support of being present so the caregiver can take some time off.
  • Divide the tasks. If everyone takes on different responsibilities, the workload is lightened. For example, one relative could handle the medical aspects of care. Another could handle the financial aspects of care. Yet another could handle the grocery shopping and/or meal preparation. Remember, caregiving should be a family affair.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Carolyn A. Brent and that you’ll check out her book on Amazon January 27, 2015:

The Caregiver’s Companion:

Caring for Your Loved One Medically, 

Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself


Buy Book

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

AND… be sure to follow Carolyn tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Renee Baribeau, who will be interviewing Carolyn on the subject of the self-care, overcoming guilt and reconcile death/maintaining stance as primary caregiver. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to


Posted on 01/22/2015 at 11:44pm

By Tina Games on January 21, 2015

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 2 of the Virtual Blog Tour for author Carolyn A. Brent whose book, The Caregiver’s Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially, and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself will be released on Amazon next week on January 27th.

Caregiver Companion - Book

Carolyn A. Brent is a nationally acclaimed author, speaker, and caregiver advocate - and has dedicated her life to preparing caregivers and their loved ones who are facing end-of-life issues. Carolyn is the founder of Caregiver Story, a non-profit organization that provides free medical, legal, and wellness resources to the public.

Yesterday, Carolyn visited Callie Carling on her blog where they discussed a caregiver’s self-care and overcoming self-guilt traps. You can read this dialogue here: Callie Carling – Cancer Goddess

As someone who lost my mother just three short years ago, I’m mindful of the important role of caregivers – and the impact that a caregiver has in shaping the final days of one’s life here on earth. I’m also mindful of what’s required of a caregiver, both energetically and emotionally. Many caregivers serve as confidants for their loved ones, creating safe and sacred space where thoughts and emotions can be exchanged with great love and care.

And because I feel so strongly about this special relationship, I’ve invited Carolyn to join me on my blog today to share her thoughts on the topic of legacy and transitioning - from the perspective of the caregiver.

Here’s what she had to say with regard to this often under-valued, but highly-significant role.


Tina Games:  I was recently a guest speaker on a grief healing telesummit were I spoke on the topic of “Embracing the Legacy of Your Loved One.” Because caregivers have special relationships with those they care for, they have unique perspectives that can bring peace to families. From a caregiver’s perspective, what do you believe is important in honoring a loved one’s legacy?

Carolyn A. Brent: The most important gift to give a loved one is to — honor your loved one’s wishes.  Yes, many caregivers do have a very special bond with their loved one (s).  Often their loved one will share a number of personal and heartfelt wishes in some cases with only their caregivers.  There are many types of legacies in honoring a loved one’s life. The following are a few examples:

  • Building an organization or charity in the memory of your loved one.
  • Participating in an annual event in honor of your loved.
  • Producing a special video of your loved one’s life.
  • Write a book (s) in honor of your loved one life.
  • Volunteering at an organization that represents a cause in the honor of your loved one’s memory.
  • Designing a scrapbook using photos and heirlooms of your loved one.
  • Planting flowers in a special memorial garden, or a tree in the honor of your loved one.
  • Naming a person, place or an object after the name of your loved one.
  • Creating blogs, daily newspaper, website, or social media honoring the name of your loved one.

In 2007, when my father had a sudden and unexpected life-threatening emergency, I felt sad, depressed, and all alone in this Great Big World.  Once I reached out and got the help I needed to move forward — was when my life began to change.  I found myself enmeshed with thinking of all of the GREAT things my father taught me throughout his lifetime. I began reflecting on my memories of him, my hero, friend, and mentor. I had no idea his ministry of teaching and helping the sick, and disabled would have such a significant impact on my life.

Now, I am carrying the torch once carried by my father, William L. Brent, Th.D.,  I found that the healing of my grief began — when I focused on, and embraced the memories of the great things he taught me.  Today I share with others about my father’s ministry, and life helping the sick and disabled. I feel my father’s spirit with me every day every step of the way. For me, my father is alive, and his legacy continues to live forever.

All of the examples above were created in the honor of my father’s (Dr. William L. Brent’s) legacy.

Tina Games:  What can a family do to better prepare themselves for the transition into full-time caregiving? And what are some things to keep in mind when choosing a primary caregiver?

Carolyn A. Brent: First, I would like to clarify the definition of a caregiver. defines a caregiver as the “person who is primarily responsible for looking after someone’s health, safety and comfort.” When speaking about aging adults, a primary caregiver steps in only when someone cannot fully care for himself or herself. A primary caregiver may be any selected family or nonfamily member, a medical professional in a care facility or a trained professional living outside the home.

Being a primary caregiver is a HUGE responsibility. A key question I ask potential caregivers is; have you considered how your role as primary caregiver will affect your life? Remember, the needs of your loved one will always come before your needs when you are the primary caregiver. You must always be prepared for the unexpected emergency.  Please take a close look at the following statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding caregivers located in the United States:

  • Out-of-pocket costs for caregivers are estimated to be $5,531.00 annually (2007).
  • At least a quarter of caregivers report having a difficult time balancing work and life.
  • More than half of caregiver’s report that their health has gotten worse while caregiving.
  • Two-thirds of caregivers put off going to their own doctor because they prioritize their caregiving duties.
  • There are roughly thirty-four million unpaid caregivers helping someone over the age of eighteen (2008).

Now the BIG questions; are you prepared regarding the daily expense of caring for a loved one? Are you ready for the responsibilities? Do you have the temperament? Are you a patient person? Are you ready to give up your current life? Are you ready to be the primary caregiver? Are you caring for a loved one because of love? The list can go on and on regarding selecting the primary caregiver.

Regarding preparing for caring for a loved one now is the time to start having those crucial conversations about end of life with family. Why wait until there is a sudden and unexpected emergency? Now is the time! Caregiving should always be a family affair.  And remember, family is not always blood-relatives.

Tina Games:  Because caregiving can be emotionally draining and physically taxing, how can a family support the well-being of a trusted caregiver?

Carolyn A. Brent: Yes, caregiving IS emotionally draining and physically taxing. I will forever share with family members of the primary caregiver is to “make caregiving a family affair.”

  • Ask the primary caregiver how can you help take some of the pressure off their daily responsibilities?
  • Are you aware that everyone including grandchildren can contribute to the health and wellbeing of the primary caregiver and the loved one being cared for?
  • Support the primary caregiver with your talents, love, time, and affection.
  • To help avoid caregiver burnout — you can surprise them with day spa treatments, a paid vacation, money, your help, and your unconditional LOVE.

 *For more details regarding how to support a family caregiver, please refer to The Caregiver’s Companion- Chapter 1: When Should You Step In?


I hope you enjoyed this blog interview with Carolyn A. Brent – and that you’ll check out her book on Amazon when it launches next week on January 27, 2015.

Caregiver Companion - Banner

AND… be sure to follow Carolyn tomorrow on the next stop of her Virtual Blog Tour. She’ll be visiting with Kate Beddow, who will be interviewing her on a variety of subjects, including tips for staying healthy, loved ones accepting help, and transitioning back to living for yourself.

To visit that “stop” on the blog tour, go to: Kate Beddow – Growing Spirits
Carolyn Jones - Headshot


Carolyn A. Brent travels throughout the United States, lecturing about the importance of adult siblings and their parents having what she calls “crucial conversations” in preparation for the end-of-life issues they may face. One of her special skills is helping families avoid being torn apart – and helping families come together as a much stronger family unit. As a result of her work, families have the opportunity to create the type of supportive, loving environment their parents need in order to depart this world with dignity. If you’d like to learn more about Carolyn and her fabulous work – and how it’s benefiting caregivers across the country, please visit her website: Carolyn A. Brent
Book Trailer — The Caregiver’s Companion: January 27, 2015 

The Caregiver’s Companion

Buy Book


About Tina Games

Tina M. Games is the author of Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery (an interactive book with an accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards). As a certified creativity and life purpose coach, and a gifted intuitive, she is the “Moonlight Muse” for women who want to tap into the “full moon within” and claim their authentic self, both personally and professionally. Through her signature coaching programs, based on the phases of the moon, Tina gently guides women from darkness to light as they create an authentic vision filled with purpose, passion and creative expression. She lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her husband and their two children.

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Posted on 01/07/2015 at 8:53pm (CGS) would like to thank each of you for the heartfelt “Birthday & Well Wishes” — and helping Carolyn A. Brent-Hill celebrate her 58th birthday. She states,”I feel extremely blessed to be able to say that “BIG” number. I thought, “How did I get to age 58 so fast?” As I pondered about my life, I began thanking God for allowing me to see another day to say that “BIG” number.”

In addition, a very special thanks to all who have contacted Carolyn over the past couple of weeks in all forms of social media; tweets, private messages, text, post, emails, Skype, LinkedIn, phones calls, etc. We are so grateful to everyone who sent a personal note representing his or her homeland; United States, London, Africa, and Seoul, South Korea.

Thank you ALL again for helping CareGiverStory and Carolyn celebrate by  “SMELLING the ROSES” now!  For that — We are all forever grateful.


James H. Hill, MBA, CEO

Are You Taking Care Of Yourself?


About the Books

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In 2011 Brent wrote her first book on the subject, Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death.

And now she has written a follow-up book, which contains new and updated information and provides a road map to guide the family caregiver, whether he or she is the adult child of an aging parent or another family member who is providing care. The new book entitled: The Caregiver’s Companion, Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself.

Publisher: Harlequin (January 27, 2015)  

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Carolyn has appeared on the following TV networks