NCC18 Presenter: Lynette Whiteman


NCC18 Presenter: Lynette Whiteman

Join Lynette for her session during our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference:

Can This Marriage Be Saved??? on Friday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m
Both working with caregivers on a daily basis and living with my mom is an honor, but also can get stressful and overwhelming. It also gives me quite a wide perspective of this world. Professionally, I heard the advise - "after a loved one dies, don't make any major decisions for a year." Well, so much for professional advise - my mom moved in with me 6 months after my dad's passing. The first few years were very challenging to put it mildly. I needed to confront my own perceptions of what I was capable of as a caregiver, my relationship with my mother, the reality of help (or no help) from my siblings, and most importantly, the impact on my marriage - all while still grieving terribly for my father. I often thought, if I wasn't already married for 30 years, I'm not sure we would have made it. My mom moving in with me was like a volcano in my life, blowing up all my preconceived notions of myself and my life. I have learned quite a few lessons and strategies which helped me along the way which I hope to share in this presentation. I also hope to learn from the attendees about they handle/juggle work, caregiving, marriage and relationships.
I would like attendees of my presentation to be able to have an open, totally nonjudgmental and honest discussion about the implications of moving a parent in with them. No one did this for me before my mother moved in with me and I learned some really hard lessons about myself, my husband and what this life changing decision can do to our equilibrium. The shift in perspective I would like to see is that those who are living with a parent realize they are not alone in their feelings and those that are thinking of making this move leave feeling more fully able to decide for themselves if it's the right decision for them. I'd like to empower caregivers to make this important decision knowing the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly. ~ Lynette

Lynette wears 2 hats. She is the Executive Director of Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey and also the caregiver for her mother who has dementia and lives with her. She began her career as a Physician Assistant and has a Masters in Geriatric Medicine. As Executive Director, she oversees the management of a nonprofit agency which is dedicated to providing free support to older adults and caregivers who are striving to remain independent. Through a network of over 1200 volunteers, their programs include medical transportation, grocery shopping, friendly visits, friendly phone calls and an Alzheimer's Respite Care Program. Lynette is also the founder of Caregiver Canines - a unique therapy dog program that provides free visits to the homebound and individuals with dementia in their own homes on a weekly basis for great tail-wagging joy. Lynette's caregiving journey began as her parents aged and her dad gave up driving. After her dad's passing in Nov. 2011, her mother became unable to manage day to day life and the decision was made that she would move into Lynette's home. In May 2012, a new chapter began in Lynette's caregiving life - working with older adults and caregivers and then coming home and caring for her own mom. Lynette is blessed to have a very supportive and understanding husband, 3 boys who give her great joy, 2 female dogs (needed some estrogen in the house) who don't judge and are great cuddlers, a terrific staff and loyal friends. Her personal mission in life is to share the lessons she has learned both professionally and personally and to make sure that every caregiver feels validated, supported and they know they are not alone in their feelings.

To learn more about Lynette, watch our video discussion about finding our best, which aired as part for our Virtual Caregiving Summit in May.

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We are so grateful to the following sponsors for making our conference possible:

~ AARP ~

~ Seniors BlueBook ~ Seniorlink ~ Henry Ford Health System CARE Program ~

~ Society of Certified Senior Advisors ~ Mindlight ~