Next Chapter Care: Supporting Parents After Losing a Partner with Annalee Kruger, Founder of Care Right Inc.
Today, we're going to explore a deeply personal and often challenging journey many of us face: supporting an aging parent after the loss of a spouse or partner.
My guest today is Annalee Kruger, the founder of Care Right Inc. With over 28 years of experience navigating the complex terrain of family caregiving and dementia progression, Annalee brings a wealth of knowledge, compassion, and practical solutions. From her early days as a Social Worker to spearheading innovative platforms like the Care Right Inc., Annalee's dedication to improving the lives of aging individuals and their families shines through.
In our conversation today, we explore the profound loss of losing a parent and also questions of how to support the spouse who has experienced loss. How can we help our parents combat loneliness and isolation? What are the practical steps we can take to ensure their physical well-being and comfort at home? And perhaps most importantly, how do we balance their emotional needs with the practical aspects of daily life after such a significant loss? From managing finances and household chores to finding the right support groups, we'll cover the spectrum of challenges and misconceptions in this delicate phase of life. Join us as we move into understanding, supporting, and learning how to make these years as fulfilling and peaceful as possible for our loved ones.
Learn more at www.carerightinc.com
Listen to our episode HERE.
Annalee shares about:
Addressing the common emotional struggles aging parents face after losing a spouse.
Strategies to encourage aging parents to participate in social activities and maintain their physical health.
Offering advice on how adult children can assist with daily tasks.
Exploring changes that can be made in the home to make it more comfortable and secure for the aging parent.
Addressing common misconceptions about supporting an aging parent during this time and providing information on resources and support groups available for both parents and their adult children.
Discussing the importance of balancing the needs of the parent with those of the adult child, including managing stress and avoiding caregiver burnout.
What to think about for future planning aspects like legal documents, financial planning, and understanding the roles and responsibilities each family member might assume.
About Annalee Krueger
Annalee has helped families navigate through aging, family caregiving, dementia progression and care options for over 28 years. As a neutral third-party family meeting facilitator, she helps families come together in care decisions and educates them how to improve communication skills and guides families across the US how to work as a team in their loved one’s care journey. Everything Annalee does is with the mission of improving quality of life by helping families and their aging relatives age as successfully as possible.
Annalee started Care Right Inc, in 2011. Care Right is a virtual, nation-wide, consultancy serving families across the US in developing customized Aging Strategies. Adult children find themselves thrust into the role of family caregiving. In time, they realize their aging loved one’s needs and safety are beyond what the family can provide. Annalee and her team at Care Right facilitate family meetings and educate families about aging, dementia progression, preventing caregiver burnout, care options, how to pay for care, choosing care communities, how to navigate the complex healthcare system, how to be a bold advocate, and help improve family relationships and communication.
Prior, she worked as a Social Worker, Marketing Director, and Executive Director in long term care communities for 18 years and saw a need for families to start discussing the “what and when’s” of aging sooner rather than later. Her goal is to reach families proactively---when they first start seeing the writing on the wall that things may not be going well with their aging parents (falls, ER visits, weight loss, dementia progression, spousal caregiver burnout) but unfortunately, 92% of families come to Care Right in crisis mode. Care Right helps untangle the predicaments the families are in and provides them a clear path via the Aging Plan. www.CareRightInc.com
Annalee launched the Care Right Family Caregiver Solutions Facebook group, which provides solutions, tips, support, education, and a community to family caregivers across the world. www.CareRightYou.com
Annalee is also working with two international Accreditation firms to create an academy, ASCA—Aging Strategy Coach Academy. This allows her robust Aging Strategy training program to be accredited and certify the coaches who go through the academy.
She trains financial advisors across the US in becoming an Elder Planning Specialist, teaching advisors to better identify AND address the needs of their aging clients or those clients who are adult children/family caregivers and are experiencing burnout. www.Plan4LifeNow.com
Annalee also started the Care Crusade, a national campaign to improve the quality of care for our seniors and vulnerable adults. www.CareCrusade.org
Annalee is a national speaker and podcast guest on aging planning, aging issues, dementia care, improving family communication throughout the aging process, and many other topics.
Annalee’s book, The Invisible Patient: the emotional, financial, and physical toll on family caregivers is available on Amazon HERE.
*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co. A boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at www.gigibettyco.com. Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!
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Nicole Will is our host and founder of willGather.