An Author Interview: The Caregiver’s Companion by Carolyn Brent

by Healmyvoice on January 25, 2015

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

Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 6 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 Renee Baribeau at, where she interviewed Carolyn on the subject of self-care, overcoming guilt and reconcile death/maintaining stance as primary caregiver.

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 Caregiver preparation support for the loved ones who soon need it. I hope you enjoy it.


Andrea Hylen: What are some of the things we should consider when selecting the caregiver and the executor of the will?

Carolyn A. Brent: When selecting a caregiver it’s best to identify what type of caregiving services are needed. The following are a few examples:

  • Selecting Family Member – Are you prepared to take on the responsibilities of caring for your loved one? Are you willing to change your life, as you know it to be, so you can care for your loved one? Do you have the time required for such a commitment? Do you live close by? Do you truly love your ailing loved one?

Do you like your ailing loved one? Do you look at your ailing loved one as a burden? Is the idea of your ailing loved one living with you a joy, a mixed blessing or a burden?

  • Selecting Independent Caregiver – Are you prepared to pay an individual who offers caregiving services for a fee?
  • Selecting a Home Care Company – Does your loved one need 24hour home care services?
  • Selecting Referral Services – Some home care companies only provide referrals and background screenings. Do you need more services?
  • Selecting Registries – Registries are companies that coordinate the scheduling of caregivers. Are you willing to have different caregivers caring for your loved one?
  • Selecting Private Assisted Living – Are you financially prepared to pay the national average monthly base rate of $3,550, which Medicare does not pay for?
  • Selecting Long-Term Care – Nursing Home –Are you aware that you may have to spend more time acting on behalf of your loved one as his or her “caregiver advocate?”
  • Selecting Hospice Care – Is hospice an option you would be willing to consider at the end of life?

More details are in The Caregiver’s Companion Chapter 3: Moving Your Aging Loved One into an Assisted-Living Facility or a Nursing Home


Andrea Hylen: My parents told us they have a living will and it is with the lawyer. Should we all have a copy of it? What types of things should we ask about that now so we are prepared in the event we need it?

Carolyn A. Brent: First of all, I am happy to know your parents have an attorney who has created their living will. Perhaps your parents feel comfortable with only the attorney having their legal documents (records). However, it would be best if your parents provided a copy of their living will to the person they have chosen as their executor. Additionally, there are two questions I suggest asking your parents. 1) Are all legal documents (Estate Planning) updated? 2) Do they have an executor? If not, it would be best if the attorney (third party) shares with them why an executor is needed.

When selecting an executor choose a person you TRUST with your LIFE! And you are confident —will carry out your final wishes for, end-of-life care planning and foundational estate planning. I highly recommend the following five items:

  • Durable Health Care Power of Attorney (Health Care Proxy)
  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney
  • Advance Medical Directive (Living Will)
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Revocable Living Trusts

More details are in The Caregiver’s Companion: Chapter 6: Crucial Emotional     Conversations— Chapter 9: Crucial Legal Conversations


Andrea Hylen: After we follow your suggestions and set up agreements on caregiving, how often should we   review our agreements? It is possible my parents could live for another 15-20 years. We have had several family members live to 100 years old. We want to focus on continuing to create memories of living and don’t want to always be talking about possible illness and death. And how do we create memories of living while supporting a graceful ending to their lives?

Carolyn A. Brent: Agreements should be adjusted according to the needs of your loved one. When it comes to caring for a chronically ill person— today may be the best day your loved one or you will see for a long time. The key to caregiving is flexibility. Yes, having a plan of action is definitely something you and your family should prepare. Also remember to plan for the sudden and unexpected emergencies as well.

As you are aware people today are not only living longer, they are also living sicker—making aging and caring for elderly loved ones more complicated than ever before. Keep in mind, The Caregiver’s Companion is an extensive guide, which outlines a step-by-step process so caregivers know what to do and what to ask in most every situation that may arise.

Every day celebrate the life of your loved one—create family legacies now! Make every moment count by “Making Caregiving A Family Affair.” It’s the great memories of your loved one that will carry you through—those tuff times.

More details are in The Caregiver’s Companion: Chapter 4: Emergencies and Life-or-Death Decisions


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


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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 Jackie Ruka, who will be interviewing Carolyn on the subject of self-care. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to

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