Amy Goyer - Caregiver | Author | Speaker | Consultant
I am an author, speaker and consultant specializing in aging and families, including caregiving, grandparenting and multi-generational issues. I have authored numerous publications, including the books, AARP’s Juggling Work and Caregiving and Things to Do Now That You’re…a Grandparent. I am a recognized media authority, and I’ve been interviewed for TV, online and print media outlets including ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, The Doctors, The New York Times, The Washington Post, People Magazine and numerous state and local newspapers and television stations.
I have been an advocate for older adults, children and families for more than 30 years at the local, state, national and international levels. I started my career as a music therapist and adult day services administrator, and later worked at the Ohio Department of Aging before joining AARP, where for 15 years I led the intergenerational and grandparenting programs including the Grandparent Information Center, a leading resource for grandparent caregivers.
I now write and consult for a wide range of clients, including AARP, Sam’s Club, MetLife, LifeWorks Strategies, InsureMyTrip.com and GRAND Magazine. I also serve as AARP’s national family and caregiving expert (www.aarp.org/amygoyer and I’m a columnist and I blog about caregiving news and my personal caregiving experiences blogger for the AARP Take Care blog (http://blog.aarp.org/author/amygoyer/) I have a “Taking Care” (www.aarp.org/takingcare) YouTube web series with actionable tips for caregivers and my vlog (video blog) about my personal caregiving experiences.
I am a passionate champion for caregivers of all types, and have been one my entire adult life. A long-distance caregiver for my grandparents starting at the age of 23, I was only 29 Mom had a stroke at the young age of 63. My long distance caregiving grew.
In 2009 Mom’s health was becoming more difficult and Dad had developed Alzheimer’s disease, so I picked up my life and relocated from the Washington, DC area to Phoenix, Arizona to care for my parents. I kept my home in the DC area because I travel there frequently for business. My boyfriend of 8 years lives north of Baltimore in Maryland.
My parents moved into a senior community for 3 years and I moved into their home just two miles away. But in 2012 they both needed 24-hour care, so I moved them back into the house with me and hired professional caregivers to supplement the care I provided, including my sister Linda, who traveled from Ohio when I was out of town. My sister, Susie, lives in Los Angeles and comes periodically to help. Unfortunately my sister, Karen, developed Cushing’s Disease and for many years I did my best to care for and support her while also caring for my parents.
Grief and loss have been an unrelenting part of our journey. My beloved niece, Shaelee, suffered from bi-polar illness, and we lost her to suicide in January of 2012. Mom passed on in October of 2013 and Karen in December 2014.
Dad is now 92 and still lives with me, along with Mr. Jackson, his service dog. Recently my sister, Linda, moved in with us, along with her two sons. We are truly a multigenerational household!
I juggle two homes, a long-distance relationship, work and caregiving. It’s a crazy life! I have learned a great deal along the way, and I love caring for my Dad, I love my work and I feel blessed to be able to do both and share my experiences to help others.
I thank all of you who have been so supportive to me in my life and work—past, present and future.