Leeza Gibbons on Caring for the Caregiver

The plotzing! OMG, the plotzing!!

OK, deep breath. 

So, I had the opportunity to interview Leeza Gibbons. I was a complete fan girl about it, although tried to keep it together for the actual interview. Plotzed before, after, while I was writing up the article, when I saw the interview — because it's also on video — and am still plotzing. Because it's Leeza Gibbons! I've always been a fan, and now that she's working with and for caregivers, especially those who care for loved ones with Alzheimer's, I'm an even bigger fan.

"Leeza Gibbons is a busy woman. In addition to her Emmy-award-winning work as a TV host, she also is an author, speaker, and family woman. But these days, she is often mentioned in the same breath as the word “caregiving,” through her work with her nonprofit foundation Leeza’s Care Connection, which provides self-care and wellness resources for caregivers. I spoke to her about caring for the caregiver of someone who lives with chronic illness.

Family members and friends provide 37 billion hours of care a year, representing $470 billion, according to an AARP study. With all the money that unpaid caregivers save the country, Leeza points out that it’s important to take good care of them.

Dealing with guilt

Caregiving “is a really rewarding thing, but it is also a tough thing,” Leeza said. “I’ve never seen a caregiver who didn’t experience some resentment, some anger, some guilt.”

The sources of that guilt or resentment may be related to an imbalance. “It’s often because someone isn’t showing up enough or [is] showing up differently. I encourage people to let go of these things — we all have limits.”

Watch the video of my interview with Leeza Gibbons and read the article on HealthCentral.


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