August 8, 2018

Health and Wellness Through the Life Span—Middle Adulthood: Becoming a Caregiver

by Charity Shumway

Linda Abbit ’76 didn’t expect to become an expert in eldercare. In fact, she graduated from Adelphi with a B.S. in Elementary Education. But age has a way of reaching us all, and by the time her parents passed away—her father at age 98 in 2005 and her mother at age 99 in 2009—she had experienced all the transitions that family caregivers face and found a new career path.

Her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. At first Abbit’s father was her mother’s primary caregiver. Her parents later moved from Florida to California to be near her, their only child, and she shifted from long-distance support to daily caregiving. Eventually, she helped her parents navigate the transition to assisted living, then to a residential care facility and eventually hospice.

“I started a blog to share what I was learning, mostly with my friends, so they wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel when their turn came,” she said. The blog became the website Tender Loving Eldercare, which in turn led to a book, The Conscious Caregiver: A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself (Adams Media, 2017).

In addition to writing about eldercare, Abbit also works as the community outreach manager for the Mind & Memory Program at St. Joseph Health Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, California, which opened in February 2018. It is an intensive outpatient program for people who have early memory loss along with a psychiatric condition, which can range from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder.

This story is part of “Health and Wellness Through the Life Span,” from the 2018 issue of Adelphi University Magazine. Read the rest of the story here:

Before Birth: The Best Possible Start

Babies and Toddlers: Forming Secure Early Relationships

Early Childhood: A Low-Tech Approach

Elementary School: Fun, Games and Fitness

Teens: The Right Way to Discuss Suicide

Late Adulthood: Getting the Right Nursing Care

Finding the Words to Reckon With Loss

All Ages: Healing Body, Mind and Soul

Improving Health in Costa Rica and Guatemala

More Adelphi News

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

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