Four in 10 American adults are family caregivers. They provide for the needs of parents, spouses, children with disabilities, and siblings. It’s a labor of love that takes a toll physically, emotionally, financially. Who cares for the caregivers? How do they care for themselves?
We explore these questions and more through the lives of three caregiving families.
Listen to the companion stories from our collaboration with NPR
James and Judy Lee believe their son’s disability has brought them closer together. Born with cerebral palsy, Justin is now 16 and requires round-the-clock care. Despite the physical and emotional strain, they wouldn’t change him, even if they could.
Rick Rayburn’s wife Marianne was a beloved schoolteacher and loving mother. But her dementia and a brain infection have changed their retirement plans. Rick is now a 24/7 caregiver. That doesn’t leave him enough time to take care of himself.
Loretta Jackson’s house is full of family. Besides her husband, daughter and granddaughter, she provides care for her sister Shirlene, who had a stroke and father, Theodis, who was diagnosed with dementia. She relies on faith to pull her through.
Music by Cathleen Flynn, with Connor Flynn, Dave Molloy, Francesco Riva and Victor Meier.
Family caregivers used a story hotline and social media to share personal stories on the stresses and blessings of taking care of their loved ones. Explore their experiences in this community generated multimedia journal.